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Strong blizzards are common this time of year, leaving many communities buried under blankets of snow. For many kids, this means sledding, making snowmen and drinking hot cocoa. Sadly, these mammoth snow storms can leave more than snow on the ground. It can cause injury and stress. Here are some helpful tips for parents and caregivers from our emergency response experts to make sure your snow days are fun … and safe.
1. Bundle up. Bitter cold and snow can cause frost bite. Kids might grumble about the layers of snow clothes, but once they get outside to play, those frowns will turn upside down. Be sure to warm up after playing with liquids like a warm drink or bowl of soup. Dehydration can happen in cold weather too! More from Kids Health
2. Play it Safe. Many roads may be closed to traffic, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to play or sled in the street. Visibility is limited due to snow banks and icy roads make braking difficult. And don’t forget helmets for activities like sledding and skiing.
3. Safety During Power Outages. If you’ve lost power or heat, be mindful of alternative heating methods such as kerosene and electric heaters. Make sure space heaters are out of reach of little hands. Inspect smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors. More from the CDC
4. Make Time. Find out your child’s concerns about the situation. Let them know their safety is your top priority. Help kids understand they’re safe and secure by talking, playing and other family activities.
5. Be Aware. Changes in sleeping, eating and other behaviors can indicate distress. Seek professional support and counseling if they persist.
6. Keep Calm and Carry on. Your child will learn how to deal with these events from you. It may be frustrating that your street hasn’t been plowed, but it’s important to help your children understand that safety officials must prioritize access for emergency vehicles on major roads.
7. Tap into Community Resources. Many communities have warming stations, check with local officials for details. If you’re having trouble affording heat for your home, organizations such as Citizen’s Energy can help keep you warm. Learn more