(WYTV) — The first official day of winter is this week, and that means plenty of ice skating, sledding and playing out in the snow for the kids. However, there are some potential dangers when it comes to winter fun.
We all remember the days of sledding on a snow day or even ice skating with friends around the holidays. Staying safe with these fun activities starts before you head out the door.
“Just making sure you’re dressed appropriately, having your extremities covered,” says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Johnston of Mercy Health. “You worry about things like frostbite with prolonged exposure to the cold — so wearing hats, gloves having adequate boots something warm for your feet.”
If your family is planning on heading to the ski slopes, Johnston recommends the following:
“Wearing a helmet, wearing the appropriate protective equipment,” Johnston says.
As an orthopedic surgeon, Johnston says that wrist sprains are common out on the ice rinks.
“Things like playing hockey, figure skating — those types of things,” he says. “You could consider some wrist braces to hopefully help those types of things.”
If your child does fracture or break a bone while participating in winter fun, Johnston says injuries in children aren’t often as serious as they are in adults.
“Most kids that are still what we call skeletally mature, being they’re still growing. They have a pretty high propensity to heal. A lot of fractures you or I would potentially need surgery for,” Johnston says. “If that’s the case, a lot of these can be treated with a cast for typically four to six weeks, then maybe a period of bracing after that.”
And a tip from Johnston: The proper winter boots with good traction can keep your kids safe this winter, too.