Winter Is Really Dangerous for Kids

Catherine Crawford

My 6-year-old is livid that it’s already well into December and we haven’t had any snow. Kid, count your blessings! I’d be happy if we made it through to spring with nary a flake (although I suppose that would mean something way screwy for Global Warming).

Suffice to say, I don’t love the winter. And, after reading a recent article about the 230,000 sledding injuries that were reported by emergency rooms across the country from 1997 to 2007, I think I love it even less. I shouldn’t be surprised by these numbers, as my aforementioned snow-loving daughter had her own trip to the ER after being rundown by a speeding sledder last year. She seems to have blocked it, but I haven’t. 

Due to this mountain of injuries, doctors are now recommending that kids wear helmets while out on the toboggan. Helmets in the snow? Even to a hater like me, that doesn’t sound right. So much for the cool, exhilarating wind whipping through their hair. But danger lurks, and not just on the slopes. While thinking about how much winter sucks, I compiled a list of my top winter hazards:

Icicles -- These things can be killers. We live across from a beautiful park, which my girls think is their own personal winter wonderland. I, on the other hand, am terrified every time I look up and see those daggers hanging from the trees. And they are everywhere -- awnings, gutters, street signs. Look out! 

Hypothermia and Frostbite -- You might think I’m being alarmist here, but I’ve seen what can happen to baby hands after a few too many minutes unprotected in the tundra. Mother Nature is powerful, so keep those littles well covered.

Drawstrings -- Speaking of frostbite, try to avoid clothes with drawstrings while playing in the snow. Turns out that frostbite will have a bigger advantage if the drawstrings somehow cut off circulation. Shudder ...

The Sun -- It’s easy to forget the sunscreen when the outside temperature can freeze an airborne loogie, but those murderous rays are non-discriminating, especially with a nice white backdrop to bounce off of. 

The Big Stick
-- Remember that scene from A Christmas Story where Flick gets his tongue stuck to a flagpole? ‘Nuff said, but just in case:

The extended list includes snow/fort deathtraps that collapse on unsuspecting little inhabitants, constant opportunities to slip and fall (I have a cracked vertebrae to thank for that one), and yellow snow.

How long is it until spring? Are you worried about your kids this winter?


Image via coldcolors /Flickr

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