A Safe Winter Wonderland

Here is a list of safety precautions to remind us all on how to enjoy a safe winter season:

  • Make sure your child’s clothing is made of waterproof and windproof material.
  • Dress in layers to preserve heat loss.
  • If clothing gets wet, have your child change into dry clothing immediately.
  • Pay close attention to fingers, toes, ears and noses for signs of overexposure to the cold. (The first sign of mild frostbite is redness to the affected area with tingling, numbness and burning.)
  • Use sunscreen and lip balm on sunny days. (It does happen … even in Michigan!)
  • When sledding:
    • Your child should wear a helmet, as there is potential for life-threatening head injuries.
    • Make sure your child faces forward with their legs crossed when sledding. Never let them go down head-first.
    • Don’t let your child wrap straps or ropes around any body part to secure himself to the sled.
    • Remember to choose a hill with a manageable slope, a long path, and a limited number of trees.
  • Discourage your child from throwing snowballs as they can cause eye, face or head injuries.
  • Frozen ponds or lakes are great for winter activities, but stay off of them unless you are 100% certain that the ice is frozen and thick enough.
  • When traveling, always be prepared by keeping an emergency car kit in your vehicle, which should include blankets, flashlight, water, food, game activities, tools and emergency supplies.

During the winter months, it seems natural for some of us to “hibernate” and avoid the cold Michigan weather. However, I encourage you to bundle up the family and take a trip outdoors for fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

Have a safe and enjoyable winter!

– Linda E. Reetz, R.N., B.S.N.

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