Winter is the time of year for cabin fever: It’s the time of year that gave cabin fever its name. This is particularly true for growing bodies that just want to move! Playing outdoors in winter comes with its own set of safety concerns to keep in mind to keep everyone safe and healthy. Here are 10 tips for keeping safe when playing outdoors in winter.
- Make sure they are bundled up. Coats, hats, gloves, boots, and snow pants. All of these things can be bought secondhand.
- Consider eye protection because children can start to develop cataracts even at a young age.
- Sunscreen may still be appropriate on a sunny day. You can get sunburns in winter, too.
- Keep their clothes dry. If they get too wet (including in cold weather), they need to change.
- When outdoors, keep them moving. It likely won’t be hard. Moving bodies stay warm easier than sedentary.
- Give them plenty of breaks indoors. Hot chocolate can be a good motivator.
- Keep a close eye on them if they decide to make an igloo or fort or play on a mound of snow made by the snow plows. The danger is that the snow may collapse on them. If it does, call 911 immediately.
- Supervise children and make sure they wear the correct safety gear for sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and other outdoor activities. Helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads can be appropriate for some activities.
- Do not let them play outside in extreme weather, such as thunderstorms, snowstorms, and below minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stay away from frozen bodies of water. Unless you know how to gauge the depth of the ice, don’t play on iced over bodies of water. And while you’re at it, keep your little ones away from roads, whether the weather is cold or not.
Playing outdoors in winter can be just as fun as playing outdoors in summer. Just keep safety in mind, and have fun!
By Bethanie Ryan