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Winter Fun Injury Prevention Tips
Every day, two Canadian children die from unintentional injuries and another 80 require hospitalization. It’s the little things that matter when it comes to protecting children from getting hurt. By providing a safe sleep environment for your children, ensuring they wear a helmet when skating, or riding a bike or scooter, and using car seats, booster seats and seatbelts properly for every car ride, you can make a difference to your child’s safety.
Play it Safe
When your children are out playing — whether in a team sport like hockey or for unstructured fun like tobogganing — keep them safe by taking the right precautions.
Prevent head and eye injuries by making sure your child wears the proper safety equipment for whatever sport he or she is playing: shin pads and cleated shoes for soccer; a helmet and face protector for hockey, etc.
Ice-Skates, Sleds and Toboggans
Cold Canadian winters allow for many fun activities like ice-skating and tobogganing. Keep safety top-of-mind during these activities because children can be seriously injured if they crash and hit their heads, run into an object or another person, or fall through ice into open water.
Avoid the Chance of Injury by:
• checking equipment each season to make sure it still fits and is in good condition
• making sure your children wear proper safety gear, especially a helmet designed for the activity taking place
• not allowing your kids to sled near roads, parking lots, rocks, trees or fences
• never skating or playing near open water
• dressing children warmly and in layers, and watching for frostbite on cold days
• putting sunscreen on exposed skin: UV rays are a hazard even in winter and on cloudy days
• using a neck warmer instead of a scarf, and removing drawstrings and cords from clothing to prevent these items from getting caught or tangled on objects and strangling your child
Keep Children Safe When Ice Skating:
• Make sure they always wear a helmet, as the slick ice makes it easy to slip and fall.
• Have them skate in the same direction as everyone else on the ice. Kids who are slower skaters should stick to the sides of the rink, and you should skate with them.
• Make sure that young learners have access to proper support by holding your hand or the railing around the rink.
If you are skating with children on a frozen lake, river or pond:
• Inspect the ice before your children start skating. Let them know where the ice is smooth and thick enough for skating.
• Never skate near pockets of open water on a frozen lake– this means the ice is thin or you are near a cracked surface.
• Ensure children wear warm clothing to prevent frostbite or hypothermia.
The Government of Canada has more winter fun safety tips available on the healthycanadians website at: www.healthycanadians.gc.ca