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Winter Safety:
Sledding, Skiing, Snowboarding, Ice Skating & Cold Weather

Winter weather offers families the chance to enjoy all kinds of fun cold weather activities. Don't let winter keep you in the house, but do make sure your kids are prepared to safely enjoy cold weather activities.

What are the dangers of cold weather, especially for children?
Check out these tips from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): Extreme Cold:  A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety, for information about hypothermia, frostbite, and how to prepare your home and car in the wintertime. Keep in mind that hypothermia can occur in temperatures as high as 50-60 degrees if conditions are damp and windy. Babies and the elderly are at highest risk.

Find out more from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Can sledding be dangerous?
According to the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission), there were more than 160,000 sledding, snow tubing and tobogganing-related injuries treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctors' offices and clinics in 2007. Head injuries are a common and serious kind of sledding injury.

What can I do to keep my child safe while sledding?
Follow these tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to prevent injuries while sledding:

What about skiing and snowboarding safety?

What are some tips for safe skating?

How about snowmobile safety?

Where can I find more information on cold weather and winter sports safety?

Where can I find more information on outdoor and recreational safety?


Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, RN.  Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan.

Updated January 2012

U-M Health System Related Sites:
U-M Pediatrics

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