Riley Offers Winter Safety Tips

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It's the time of year for children to enjoy sledding down the hills and making angels in a fresh blanket of snow. Riley Hospital offers the following tips to help keep children safe during their time in a winter wonderland.

  • Dress children in several layers of clothing to keep them warm. Change children into dry layers if the clothes become wet.

  • Most body heat escapes through a person's head. Make sure your child wears a hat to go outside this winter.

  • Dress your child in a coat, scarf, hat, earmuffs, gloves and boots each time he goes outside.

  • Look for signs of frostbite. The skin may turn gray or yellow in color - especially on the fingers, toes, face, ears or other exposed areas - or, in extreme cases, waxy and pale. Skin becomes cold, numb and solid to the touch. If your child shows signs of frostbite, take him inside to warm up and seek medical attention immediately.

  • It is possible to get sunburn even in the winter, especially from the sun's reflection on the snow. Put sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF on your child before sending him outside to play.

  • Never let children play on or around frozen ponds or other water. The ice may look safe but if it's not frozen underneath, a child could easily fall through.

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  • Discourage children from throwing snowballs, which may contain chunks of ice or rocks that can injure someone.

  • Never pull children on sleds behind an automobile. Teach children to play away from roads, vehicles and other traffic.

  • When sledding, children should go down the hills feet first. Teach children to sled away from trees, roads and other sledders.

  • Purchase a winter sport helmet for your child to prevent head injuries during sledding, skiing, snowboarding and even ice skating.

  • Take plenty of breaks to go inside and warm up. Provide children with liquids to stay hydrated.

  • Supervise children at all times. Most people know that helmets will protect children from head injuries when riding bikes, scooters and other wheeled toys. But did you know that winter sport helmets will protect children during sledding, snowboarding, skiing and ice skating? Riley Hospital's Safety Store carries winter sport helmets for a low cost. Visit the Safety Store to learn more about keeping your child safe this winter.

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