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For Immediate Release

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Reminds Families to Keep Safety in Mind While Enjoying Season’s First Snowfall

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh offers safety tips for families during the cold and snowy winter months when fun activities can turn dangerous.

Parents of young children should take precautions when sending their kids out into the snow for winter activities like sledding, skiing and snowboarding. In January and February of this year, Children’s admissions for winter injuries included: 18 sledding injuries; eight snowboarding injuries; three snowmobiling injuries; three ice-skating injuries; and 15 hockey injuries.

“Parents sending children out into the snow for winter activities should, most importantly, make sure they are properly clothed for the cold weather,” said Barbara Shultz, RN, BSN, senior trauma coordinator for the Benedum Trauma Program at Children’s. “Children should wear layers of warm clothing, proper safety equipment and be supervised to prevent injuries.”

In 2000, nearly 23,500 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for sledding-related injuries; more than 14,000 were treated for ice skating-related injuries; more than 18,500 were treated skiing-related injuries; and 24,700 were treated for snowboarding-related injuries, according to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

Here are some tips to help families stay safe this winter season:

Frostbite:

  • Children are at greater risk than adults because they lose heat from their skin faster.
  • Bring children inside regularly to inspect fingers and noses for signs of frostnip or frostbite.
  • Do not go outside in very cold weather after taking a bath or shower.

Sledding:

  • Always supervise children when they sled.
  • Teach children to roll off a sled that won’t stop. Tell them not to worry about the sled.
  • Make sure children wear a helmet when sled riding.
  • Change wet clothing or come inside periodically to dry off.

Skiing and Snowboarding:

  • Skiing and snowboarding are strenuous sports that put heavy demands on muscles, tendons and ligaments in many parts of the body, so children should be in good physical condition.
  • Children should wear a helmet specially designed for skiing and snowboarding.
  • Children should wear sunglasses/goggles to protect their eyes and see better on the slopes.

For a complete list of all winter injury prevention and holiday safety tips, visit Children’s Injury Prevention Web site at www.chp.edu.

Contacts:
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016, Marc.Lukasiak@chp.edu
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5016, Melanie.Finnigan@chp.edu

Last Update
February 19, 2008
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Last Update
February 19, 2008
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