How to make safety a priority for kids playing outside this winter
Did you know that each winter 24,500 kids are injured in sledding accidents? About 3,000 of these kids suffer a serious brain injury as a result. Winter activities don’t have to be dangerous or have tragic consequences if safety is a top priority.

Following these tips to keep your kids safe while playing in the snow:


  • Always supervise your child while he or she is sledding.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Require your child to sled sitting down, face forward only.
  • Teach sled control — how to control the sled, fall off safely and stop.
  • One person to a sled, unless specifically designed for more than one rider.

Ice skating

  • Always supervise your child while he or she is skating.
  • Secure loose articles of clothing like scarves so they don’t catch on a skate and cause a fall.
  • Skaters should wear protective gear including a helmet, wrist guards and knee pads.
  • Check your child’s skates for a proper fit — they should fit snugly, be laced at top, and the laces should be tucked in.
  • Consider lessons.
  • If skating outdoors, choose a location approved and maintained by your community.

Pedestrian safety

  • Keep sidewalks and driveways well shoveled and apply material such as rock salt to improve traction.
  • Children can easily be hidden by snow drifts and mounds caused by shoveling and plowing. Make sure children under age 10 do not cross streets alone.
  • Make sure children wear appropriate shoes and brightly colored clothing (not white) while walking during snowy conditions. Use reflective clothing or stickers for maximum protection.

Abby Collier– Abby Collier, MS, injury prevention manager, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin

The mission of Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin is to ensure Wisconsin children are healthy, safe and able to thrive. The Alliance is affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.


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