It’s not just during the summer when youths have to be careful as there are also concerns with winter too. Of course, with the colder weather you need to be aware of extra elements coming into play such as ice and snow.

The last thing you want to do is be sitting in an emergency room for half the day, so ensure you and your children are always safe and know the best way to avoid any accidents or injuries. However, with that said, you should still enjoy the winter as much as any other time of year and by following this section of the guide you’ll have a better chance of avoiding problems.

Whilst children will spend more time playing sport in the summer, they’ll still want to venture outdoors in the colder months too. Just think, the moment snow starts falling from the sky youths will want to be out making the most of it. This could be sledding down hills, sliding on ice at school or even partaking in winter sports such as ice skating and skiing (although more likely in a foreign country).

If any nearby lakes freeze, you should also ensure to inform youths about the dangers of playing on these. Whilst the lake may look completely frozen, there’s a high chance parts won’t be as stable and could break under the pressure.

The cold weather will also bring with it dangers such as frostbite, which means it’s ever-important to dress warmly and not spend too much time outside in extreme conditions. Although frostnip and frostbite will be discussed in larger detail later in this chapter; it’s worth mentioning twice.

Both will particularly affect the fingers, toes, ears, nose and cheeks. To avoid these, remove wet clothing as soon as possible and ensure to keep warm at all times. If you’re worried about skin discolouration, ensure to seek medical help.

Winter Clothing

With the cold weather of winter you’ll need to dress appropriately, keeping hands and feet particularly warm.

As a general guide, youths and children should follow the below guidelines when dressing in the colder months:

  • Wear numerous layers that can be easily removed if wet

  • Always wear a hat as the head loses a vast amount of heat

  • Wear gloves to protect the hands and fingers, particular when playing in snow

  • Wear shoes suitable for winter and thermal socks (or two pairs) for extra warmth

  • Consider a neck warmer is necessary

  • Always remove wet clothing as soon as possible.

Hypothermia & Frostbite

Hypothermia is the result of your body’s temperature dropping below the norm and can be particularly problematic in winter because of the cold weather. Therefore, it’s something to be aware of and know the correct course of action to not only avoid, but also deal with effectively.

Hypothermia often affects youths wearing inappropriate or wet clothing in cold weather and is more likely to onset quicker for youngsters than adults. It has various symptoms including shivering, or being lethargic or clumsy.

If for any reason you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from Hypothermia, ensure to contact emergency services as quickly as possible. You should also remove all wet clothing, stay indoors and wrap up in warm blankets.

Frostbite, as mentioned above, is also something to be watchful for. It will likely affect fingers, toes, ears and the nose and results in the skin and tissue freezing. As a result, the skin may become grey and pale, possibly even blistering. Those with frostbite also complain about a burning sensation of the skin or becoming numb.

If frostbite is suspected, ensure to stay indoors and warm the affected area. Do not rub and if conditions continue or worsen, it’s then advised to seek medical help.