Meteorologists predict winter will be making a big comeback this week, whether we like it or not. When it does, we need to make sure our kids are playing safely outside.
There’s nothing more fun for kids in the winter than to sled down a hill that’s blanketed with fresh snow. Before your kids hit the hill, remember to top off their winter gear with a helmet. Nearly 25,000 kids are injured in sledding accidents every year, and 3,000 kids receive serious brain injuries as a result.
Ice skating is another favorite winter pastime for kids. When ice skating, it’s never a matter of will your child fall down, but rather, how many times? While ice skating, most often, children fall backwards, causing their heads to potentially propel back and hit the ground, thus providing an excellent reason to wear a helmet and protect the noggin. More than 18, 000 children will visit the emergency room this winter with injuries received while ice skating and playing hockey.
While there hasn’t been a helmet designed specifically for sledding or ice-skating yet, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that wearing a helmet is preferable to wearing no helmet at all. It lists three types of helmets that can be used: bicycle, multi-sport and ski helmets.
There’s no doubt that helmets protect one of your most important assets – your head.
For more winter safety tips, visit www.usa.safekids.org.
–Lisa Klindt Simpson, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin coordinator