Winter Sports Safety for Children

Winter doesn’t have to keep children indoors, but there are some safety tips to follow for safe play in snowy weather.

It may be March, but it doesn’t look like winter sports will be winding down in the Twin Cities any time soon. Outdoor play is good for your children’s health and great for their bones. Between the ages of 10 and 18, we develop the bone density that we’ll have with us for life. Because childhood is such a crucial time to cultivate strong bones, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that children exercise at least one hour every day.

We encourage exercise, but we also realize that winter’s slippery conditions and freezing temperatures pose risks. Winter sports injuries like sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures are common this time of year, and many of them happen at the end of the day when children are tired and less alert. We have a few precautions for you to follow to keep your children’s play safe in the snow and cold.

Play in groups

No one, especially children, should play or engage in winter sports alone.

Dress for the weather

Make sure children are warmly dressed with hats, gloves, and several layers of warm, water- and wind-resistant clothing. Footwear should be waterproof, warm, and provide ankle support.

Check equipment

When children are using sports equipment like sleds or skis, inspect their gear before they play to make sure it is in good condition and working properly. Gear includes protective sportswear like helmets, goggles, and protective padding.

Follow the rules

Teach your children to follow the rules of their favorite sports. It’s great if you can arrange for lessons from a qualified instructor if your child likes to ski or snow board. Learning how to fall correctly is part of learning how to participate safely.

Watch the weather

Winter temperatures can drop quickly. When there are weather warnings about storms or severe temperature changes, adjust outdoor plans accordingly.

Teach cold weather awareness

As the mercury drops, the risks of hypothermia and frostbite rise. Talk to your children about finding shelter and getting to warmth and help immediately if they start to experience any of the warning signs of frostbite.

Know when to come in

Injuries happen when we are tired. Especially when children are using equipment like skates, skis, or sleds, it’s better to call it a day before they are exhausted.

It has been a great winter to enjoy outdoor play. Following these safety tips can help children to safely enjoy the snowy activities they love.

Summit Orthopedics supports healthy communities

Community health flourishes when specialized orthopedic care is conveniently available close to home. Summit Orthopedics is proud of our fellowship-trained subspecialty teams offering the full spectrum of orthopedic expertise in bone, tendon, ligament, muscle, and joint conditions—in addition to our wellness, prevention, and rehabilitation services. We have the expertise to proactively improve fitness, evaluate discomfort, and deliver personalized treatment to quickly and safely return you to the lifestyle you love.

Start your journey to a healthier, more active self. Visit our Facebook page to learn about our wellness services and schedule a free wellness consultation online. Find your orthopedic expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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