From Lindsay Hansen, Program Manager – Recreational Safety, Safe Kids USA
Fall sports have wrapped up and the winter sports season is upon us. As we all know, once the air gets colder and snow starts falling, kids head outside to the great outdoors to ski, snowboard, sled, snowmobile and ice skate. While these winter activities provide hours of fun for our children, they also pose risks for injury.
I should note that JNJ BTW has posted before on youth sports injury; Andrew gave tips on preventing sports injury and Dr. Freishtat offered advice on communicating effectively with your children and their coaches. That information should be kept in mind all year round, but here are winter sports specific tips to remember as well.
Safe Kids USA reports that about 250,000 people experience injuries while engaging in winter sports activities. More than one-fifth of these emergency room visits are from children 14 and under. For parents and kids to get the most enjoyment out of the winter sports season, it is important to remember some key safety tips.
- Wear a sport-specific helmet!
- Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes.
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
- Wear sunglasses and contacts with UV protection.
- Stay hydrated.
In terms of hydration, bear in mind that children can easily become dehydrated while playing sports or engaging in any recreational activity—regardless if the day calls for an ice cream or making snow angels. Just make sure your kids drink plenty of fluids before, during and after winter play.
To learn more about how you can keep your child safe this winter, visit Safe Kids USA’s winter sports safety section on their website.