Safety on Snow Days

Sledding, ice skating, and snowshoeing aren’t only fun; they’re also terrific exercise and a fantastic excuse to be outside in the winter. But remember safety first.

Ready? Begin by following the recommendations of a professional.

Build up your layers.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents and caregivers should dress children in many thin layers before putting them outside. This keeps them dry and warm, lowering their chances of frostbite and hypothermia. A winter hat, boots, gloves or mittens, and a winter hat are all essentials.

According to Lois Lee, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital and president of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, a good rule of thumb is to dress children in a layer over an adult in similar weather.

“Layering is also crucial because if they’re playing outside, they could get hot, and they can remove a layer if they need to,” Lee explained.

The sun is rising.

While removing a layer can help keep you from being overheated, it also increases your exposure to the sun, which is amplified when its rays reflect off snow.

Brooks Jordan, a district manager for Wyoming State Parks and an experienced parks and recreation expert, says it’s normal for winter outdoor enthusiasts to forget to apply sunscreen to exposed skin. Even if you’re squeezing some from the tube that’s been lying around since summer, sunscreen gives equivalent protection winter months.

“It’s better to make do with what you’ve got than to have nothing at all,” Jordan replied.

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