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Winter Wonderland of Safety Tips

Here are some tips on how you can help kids have fun with Frosty while also keeping them safe.

Wild Winter Sports

Most kids are involved in one kind of winter sport or activity, be it ice hockey, snowboarding, or even sledding, and each of these come with some amount of risk.

"The two most common injuries are limb injury, either a bruise or a fracture, and head injury," says Judelsohn. "So it is very important for any sport, in particular outdoor sports, that proper protective gear be used. As a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, we strongly recommend head gear for any sport that can cause a head injury, like skiing, snowboarding, hockey, or even sledding and tobogganing."

Another important item on the checklist is to check your child's equipment and know your child's skill level. "Make sure your children's equipment is appropriate for their size and their level of skill, and make sure it's functioning properly," Judelsohn says.

"One of the biggest factors is to know your child's limitations. "For example, a 9 year old shouldn't be playing physical checking hockey with 14 year olds; and on the slopes, if your child is a novice, don't take them to most difficult hill."

Driving Safety

When the roads are slick with ice and snow, driving can become treacherous. Here are some tips that will keep you and your kids safe on the roads this winter:

Pack an emergency kit. The American Automobile Association web site recommends you stock your car with an emergency kit that contains:

  • A flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • A bag of sand or salt (to provide traction in case the car gets stuck in the snow)
  • A shovel
  • Warning devices (such as flares, blankets, or ice scrapers)
  • A fully charged cell phone

"As good as cars are today, they can still break down, so keep warm clothes and an emergency kit in the car, and most importantly, especially for young drivers who think they're strong and athletic and can walk a couple of miles for help in the winter, that's a mistake--the safest place to be is in the car," says John Paul, spokesman and Car Doctor for the American Automobile Association.

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