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By Brianna Siciliano

Winter weather brings opportunities to play a wide variety of winter sports, both indoors and outdoors. Who wants to spend time on the couch when they can snowboard, ski, ice skate, roller skate, play hockey, or play basketball? No one; all of us would much rather have fun and be daring. Before the fun can begin, take steps to ensure that nothing can go wrong with the activities that your children are participating in or the gear that your children are wearing. By taking the tips below into consideration and taking action to ensure your children are safe, winter sports can become more enjoyable and your family can have fun and stay healthy all season long.

Activities that involve the cold––for example ice-skating, hockey, snowboarding, sledding, and skiing––can often lead to minor and major accidents and injuries. One second your son is standing up at the top of the snowy hill, and the next he can be plummeting downhill because something went wrong. To be sure that your children are as safe as they can be, make sure everyone is wearing the proper gear. If your child’s sport involves a helmet and goggles as head gear, be sure that your child is wearing them. Safety is not a suggestion; safety is a necessity.

Before allowing your child to do something for the day, like sledding for instance, make sure you know where the sledding will happen. Will the kids be sledding in a local park with a major hill? Are there trees or other obstacles that can cause the sledding to go wrong? You must think of everything before okaying any situation. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

When your children are outdoors in their sports gear, whether wearing basketball shorts and a jersey or hockey gear, always be confident that your child will have layers to wear. The freezing temperatures can be dangerous to our health; skin become dry when exposed to the cold, frostnip and frostbite risks heighten, and chances of illness (like a common cold or a flu) rise. It is important for children (and adults) to cover up and dress in layers whenever leaving the house and exposing their bodies to the winter weather. Whether a person is exposed to the winter weather for two minutes or two hours, it is necessary to bundle up and stay warm. No precautions can be too excessive.