This is a guest post written by Erik Braunitzer of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Company, brokers for New York City Rentals. People fear winters! Most of the outdoor activities are halted in various households until the spring arrives and family time kicks in. There is a plethora of family sports out there such as snowboarding, snowmobiling, sledding, cross country skiing and not to forget the most common one; ice skating. Additionally you always do need somebody to shovel the snow outside.
As much fun as you can possibly have in winters with family, its absolutely necessary to take the required precautions for safety purposes. Snow and ice is notorious for causing easy accidents. Unless you are really prepared for it when stepping out of the house, you may end up in the emergency room.
Itâ€™s not very difficult to stay fit and safe if you keep a few tips in mind. You will certainly have a nice time regardless of how cold it gets outside.
Most of the Winters Related Risks:
There are a few injuries specifically associated with winters only because of activities mentioned above like snowboarding, skiing and skating. These activities can be really hazardous for children as well, which is why emergency rooms mostly see head, neck and abdominal injuries on children who run into rocks or trees while skiing or snowboarding.
Similarly, there are some ailments as well, which are more common in cold weather, with viruses such as flu being the most usual one. One of the reasons for respiratory problems being common in winters is due to the fact that people mostly stay indoors and are more vulnerable to air borne issues.
Things You Can Do At Home:
You want to know the most important thing you can do to stay healthy and avoid spread of viruses? Wash your hands frequently, and get your children to do so. Its perhaps the simplest and the most effective way. You want to be more particular about washing hands right after blowing a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, or even after sharing toys.
Don’t get children to shovel snow since it’s a labor-intensive work and you don’t want them to be exhausted and become vulnerable to viruses. Leave snow shoveling for adults and make sure they take good care when it comes to layering up and wearing the right footwear.
Children don’t always tell parents when they are feeling too cold so you have to look for cues. To make sure you don’t have to deal with frostbite, you must check on them regularly, for instance, make sure their noses arenâ€™t too red, nails not too blue, mittens are dry, they are wearing socks and so on.
Its obvious that children must be dressed as warmly as possible. In fact, its safer to have more layering than required since you can always peel off a layer if it gets wet or you feel a little too warm. However thatâ€™s not enough. You also want to protect the childrenâ€™s skin with a good sunscreen. You might find the idea a bit absurd to have a sunburn in extreme cold but you must know that snow usually reflects up the ultraviolet rays to about 85 percent.
Coming back to layering, try not to have cotton clothing since its not meant for being very warm. Instead, stick to plain old wool underwear, sweater or even a coat. Depending on the temperature, you can add more layering as well.
Waterproof jackets and windbreakers are most appropriate for rainy and really windy areas. Lastly, the ensemble is definitely incomplete without thick boots, woolen socks, dry gloves and preferably a hat as well.
Along those lines, don’t forget to give the children a little snack before they go outdoors since a certain amount of calorie intake equips the body with energy, which consequently keeps them warm.
Safety Measures for Sports:
Don’t send children out to go sledding too far away from home. If they must, make sure you are familiar with the hill they are going at, and you know its not too steep, or covered with vegetation or rocks. It should also be away from hustle bustle of the city and busy roads/highways so in case of an injury, at least the child doesn’t go sliding over on the road and result in a head injury.
Although ice hockey too like ice skating is a very interesting sport in winters, it requires a lot more safety measures than a regular sport. For that, your children must be wearing properly fitted and supportive skates. On a side note, prefer ice rinks instead of ponds since they tend to be a lot safer and prevent falls to an extent.
As far as safety measures for snowmobiling are concerned, make sure kids are equipped with helmets and you supervise them the whole time. Since those machines tend to go very fast, you need a responsible adult to oversee it.
Things to Do in Emergency Situations
In children, one of the most common emergency situations due to cold is frostbite and frostnip, which too is basically an early sign of frostbite. To prevent your child from pale skin and numbness caused by frostnip, take off wet clothing as soon as the child enters home. Using warm clothing articles, focus on those particular body parts that are severely affected but make sure you don’t expose the child to heater immediately. Once they start feeling sensation in limbs again, you may expose them to heat as well. Most common body parts vulnerable to frostbite are nose, ears, cheeks, toes and fingers. The first clue to identify a frostbite is to check for white or yellow-gray body parts. In such a situation, you must take the child to the emergency room immediately.