Posted by Claudia Grazioso on December 14, 2011
Remember all of those snow days when we were kids? We couldn’t wait to get outside and fly off a snow-covered cliff on a plastic saucer, or click on our skis and race down a hill. Miraculously, all without helmets! Even though you may want to stay inside with your hands wrapped around a hot mug of tea and your feet ensconced in woolly socks on those cold days, your kids probably are still clamoring to go out. (Come on, Mom, it’s not cold!). The fact is, outside play is good for kids in any weather. And let’s face it, if you make them stay inside, they’re only going to drive you nuts. To that idyllic mug of tea and woolly socks, add some nagging, some whining, a few “We’re soooooo boreds” and suddenly that cozy day inside isn’t quite as fun, is it?
There are so many fun things that kids can do in the snow, but just because the ground is covered in soft, puffy white stuff doesn’t mean injuries can’t happen. Use some common sense precautions when you hit the sledding hill. Make sure that the hill your kids are set to careen down doesn’t have a lot of trees, isn’t so steep that they can’t stop and doesn’t end at a road. Also, be familiar with it enough to know if there are any big rocks that kids should avoid, but won’t be able to see when the hillside is covered with snow. Sledding might seem perfectly safe, and it usually is. But sledding accidents result in some pretty serious injuries each winter.
If ice skating is your child’s choice, be sure to get skates that fit properly. Also, until my kids get steady on their skates, I insist on a helmet. Yes, I know, I’m a little overprotective. But ice is hard, and I remember my brother being knocked unconscious after a bad fall on the ice when we were little. Not fun for anyone, including our mom.
Finally, if you have an extreme sports enthusiast and find yourself gearing up for some snow boarding, just remember: Your kids are going to fall. And chances are they will be moving pretty fast when they do. Make sure that they have protective gear to prevent head and neck injuries as best you can. Consider having them take a refresher course if it’s their first run of the season. Also, if your kids are older and are venturing off without you, make sure they know to follow the buddy rule and board with a friend at all times. They should also be sure to follow any of the posted rules or regulations, and stay on the actual run itself. Then you can hit the lodge and enjoy that cup of tea in peace.