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Men's Health

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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.

Driving Safety continued...

Teach young drivers winter safety skills. Adults can have difficulties driving during bad weather, so young drivers are especially at risk. Teach your kids who are new behind the wheel how to handle the ice and snow.

"It's all about practice and getting experience," says Paul. "Take a young driver out to an empty parking lot and slide around in the snow a little so they can experience what it feels like, how to avoid it, and how to correct it."

Also caution your teens that drive to slow it down on slick roads -- even if they're driving a sport utility vehicle (SUV). "On a snowy day, even though the speed limit is 40 or 50, you need to cut that speed in half and double the distance between you and the cars around you," says Paul. "SUV and all-wheel drive cars give people a false sense of confidence, especially new drivers. The SUV will get you up the hill better than rear-wheel or front-wheel drive, but it's nothing more than a 5,000 pound toboggan going down it; it won't improve breaking, and when people drive too fast in an SUV because they think they can, they skid just like any other car."

Also Paul encourages adults to be especially mindful in winter when driving with small children. "Parents will bundle their children in snow suits and then put them in a child passenger safety seat, and this takes away from the protection that is offered because the belts may not fit them properly with the added layers," he explains. "What you want to do is keep them in their regular clothes, buckle them in, and put their coats over them so they stay warm."

Hunkering Down

When you decide it is just too darn cold to send the kids outside to play, remember that you need to keep them safe inside.

According to the National Fire Protection Association web site, heating equipment, such as space heaters and wood stoves, is the No. 1 cause of home fires during the months of December, January, and February.

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