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Winter Safety Tips For Children

Winter Safety Tips For Children

Winter Safety Tips For ChildrenWinter Safety Tips For Children

In general:

  • Never allow children to play outside alone. Establish a buddy system with one or more of their friends and have them look out for one another. Children younger than eight years of age should always be well supervised outside.
  • Check from time to time to make sure children are warm and dry.
  • Have younger children take frequent breaks to come inside for a warm drink.
  • Never send children outside in extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms.
  • Keep children indoors if the temperature falls below −25°C, or if the wind chill is −28°C or greater.
  • Tell children not to put their tongues on cold metal. It may sound silly, but some kids still do it.
  • Advise children to stay away from snowplows and snowblowers.
  • Help children choose play areas with a warm shelter nearby such as a friend’s home.
  • Advise children to play in an area away from roads, fences and water.
  • Apply sunscreen to exposed skin, even when it’s cloudy.


  • Dress children in several layers of clothing. If they get too warm, they can remove one layer at a time.
  • Always remove children’s wet clothing and boots immediately.
  • Make sure children wear a hat because most body heat is lost through the head.
  • Have children keep their ears covered at all times to prevent frostbite.
  • Have children wear mittens instead of gloves.
  • Dress children in warm, waterproof boots that are roomy enough to wiggle their toes around.
  • Remove all drawstrings from children’s clothing to prevent strangulation. Use velcro or other fasteners instead, and use a neck warmer instead of a scarf.


  • Make sure children always wear a hockey or ski helmet while skating.
  • Make sure children’s skates are comfortable, with good ankle support, to avoid twists, sprains or breaks.
  • When possible, have children skate on public indoor or outdoor rinks. If this is not possible, children should remember to:

    • – Obey all signs posted on or near the ice. Yellow signs usually mean skate with caution, and red usually means no skating allowed.
    • – Make sure they are always supervised on the ice.
    • – Never assume it’s safe to skate on a lake or pond. An adult should make sure the ice is at least 10 cm (four inches) thick, and check with local weather authorities for information about ice thickness.
    • – Avoid walking on ice near moving water. Ice formed on moving water, such as rivers and creeks, will vary in thickness and is highly unpredictable.

Children should:

  • Take lessons from a qualified skiing or snowboarding instructor.
  • Never ski or snowboard alone.
  • With parents, check equipment every year for fit and maintenance. Bindings should be checked annually by a qualified technician.
  • Make sure they’re in control of their speed. Many injuries result from a loss of control. Stunts and fatigue also lead to injuries.
  • Always wear a helmet with side vents that allow them to hear.
  • When snowboarding, wear wrist guards to reduce the risk of wrist injury.
  • Dress safely. Wear brightly-coloured clothing, and warm hats and mittens.
  • Avoid icy hills. The risk of falls and injuries increases in icy conditions.
  • Watch out for other skiiers and snowboarders, as well as any other obstacles, on the slopes.
  • Stay in designated areas and on marked trails.

* With lessons from a certified instructor, it’s okay for younger children to snowboard; however, their coordination is not fully developed until age 10 years.

Children should:

  • Always wear either a ski or hockey helmet – not a bicycle helmet – while sledding.
  • Never use a sled with sharp or jagged edges.
  • Make sure the handholds on the sled are secure.
  • Always sit up or kneel on a sled. Lying down increases the risk of head, spine and abdominal injuries.
  • Never sled on or near roadways.
  • Look for shallow slopes that are free of trees, fences or any other obstacles.
  • Avoid sledding on crowded slopes.

Snow forts and snow banks
Children should NOT:

  • Build snow forts or make tunnels. They may collapse and suffocate a child.
  • Play in or on snow banks. The driver of a snowplow or other vehicle may not see a child.


Children should NOT throw snowballs. Snowball fights can lead to injuries, especially to the eyes. Snowballs are more dangerous if the snow is hard-packed or contains a rock or some other hard object.


  • Children and adults should wear an approved helmet at all times. Head injuries are the leading cause of snowmobile-related deaths.
  • Children younger than five years of age should never ride on a snowmobile, even with an adult.
  • Children younger than 16 years of age should not operate a snowmobile.
  • Anyone operating a snowmobile should take a formal safety training program.
  • Never tow a child behind a snowmobile on a tube, tire, sled or saucer.

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