Safety Advice for parents and kids
Winter is an exciting time for
kids. It brings great outdoor activities, such as snowboarding and skating,
but also cold weather, ice and snow, which can present a danger to children.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the winter. Here are some winter
safety tips for both parents and children.
allow children to play outside alone. Establish a buddy system with one
or more of their friends and have them look out for one another.
Children younger than eight years of age should always be well
from time to time to make sure children are warm and dry.
younger children take frequent breaks to come inside for a warm drink.
send children outside in extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms.
children indoors if the temperature falls below –25°C (-13°F), or if the wind
chill is–28°C (-18.4°F) or greater.
children not to put their tongues on cold metal. It may sound silly, but
some kids still do it.
children to stay away from snowplows and snow blowers.
children choose play areas with a warm shelter nearby such as a
children to play in an area away from roads, fences and water.
sunscreen to exposed skin, even when it’s cloudy.
children in several layers of clothing. If they get too warm, they can
remove one layer at a time.
remove children’s wet clothing and boots immediately.
sure children wear a hat because most body heat is lost through the head.
children keep their ears covered at all times to prevent frostbite.
children wear mittens instead of gloves.
children in warm, waterproof boots that are roomy enough to wiggle their
all drawstrings from children’s clothing to prevent strangulation. Use
velcro or other fasteners instead, and use a neck warmer instead of a
sure children always wear a hockey or ski helmet while skating.
sure children’s skates are comfortable, with good ankle support, to avoid twists, sprains or breaks.
possible, have children skate on public indoor or outdoor rinks. If this
is not possible, children should remember to:
all signs posted on or near the ice. Yellow signs usually mean skate
with caution, and red usually means no skating allowed.
sure they are always supervised on the ice.
assume it’s safe to skate on a lake or pond. An adult should make
sure the ice is at least 10 cm (four inches) thick, and check with
local weather authorities for information about ice thickness.
- Avoid walking on ice near
moving water. Ice formed on moving water, such as rivers and creeks,
will vary in thickness and is highly unpredictable.
lessons from a qualified skiing or snowboarding instructor.
ski or snowboard alone.
parents, check equipment every year for fit and maintenance. Bindings
should be checked annually by a qualified technician.
sure they’re in control of their speed. Many injuries result from a
loss of control. Stunts and fatigue also lead to injuries.
wear a helmet with side vents that allow them to hear.
snowboarding, wear wrist guards to reduce the risk of wrist injury.
safely. Wear brightly-colored clothing, and warm hats and mittens.
icy hills. The risk of falls and injuries increases in icy conditions.
out for other skiers and snowboarders, as well as any other obstacles,
on the slopes.
in designated areas and on marked trails.
With lessons from a certified instructor, it's okay for younger children to
snowboard; however, their coordination is not fully developed until age 10
Reference: Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors
wear either a ski or hockey helmet – not a bicycle helmet – while sledding.
use a sled with sharp or jagged edges.
sure the handholds on the sled are secure.
sit up or kneel on a sled. Lying down increases the risk of head, spine
and abdominal injuries.
sled on or near roadways.
for shallow slopes that are free of trees, fences or any other
sledding on crowded slopes.
forts and snow banks
snow forts or make tunnels. They may collapse and suffocate a child.
in or on snow banks. The driver of a snowplow or other vehicle may not
see a child.
and adults should wear an approved helmet at all times. Head injuries
are the leading cause of snowmobile-related deaths.
younger than five years of age should never ride on a snowmobile, even
with an adult.
younger than 16 years of age should not operate a snowmobile.
operating a snowmobile should take a formal safety training program.
tow a child behind a snowmobile on a tube, tire, sled or saucer.