Safety first for winter sportsmen
Monday, 19 November 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
Winter is a special time of year for sportsmen. The great outdoors beckons men and women in the wintertime, when skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding are just a few of the many cold weather activities to entice athletes out of their homes.
Though winter sports can help fend off cabin fever, those who don't exercise certain safety precautions might find themselves dealing with another kind of fever. Cold weather can leave men, women and children susceptible to illness or injury if they aren't careful. The following are a few safety tips for winter sportsmen who want to make the most of the coming winter sports season.
Inadequate clothing is one of the easiest ways a winter sportsmen can fall victim to illness or injury . But the right clothing can go a long way toward ensuring this winter sports season is fun and illness- and injury-free.
* Wear protective head gear. Protective headgear can help sportsmen avoid colds and head injuries. When venturing outdoors in the winter, always wear a protective wool ski cap. Most body heat is lost through the head, but wool caps help your body retain warmth on cold days and nights. In addition, sportsmen should always wear protective headgear when skiing, sledding, snowboarding or playing ice hockey. Even the most experienced sportsmen can suffer a head injury when playing a winter sport, but the appropriate headgear can prevent head injuries to veteran and novice athletes alike.
* Dress in layers. Dressing in layers is another way to stay warm and prevent illness in the winter months. Kids are especially susceptible to cold weather, so parents should dress them in one more layer than they dress themselves. When wearing scarves, sportsmen should tuck their scarves in so they don't get tangled with sporting equipment.
* Remove drawstrings from kids' clothing. Drawstrings on winter hats, overcoats and pants can prove harmful to children. These drawstrings can easily get tangled and lead to strangulation. Parents should remove all drawstrings from kids' winter clothing before kids participate in winter sports.
Ice skating & hockey
Winter is a great time to go ice skating or play some hockey. However, ice sports like skating and hockey can be especially dangerous, and it's wise for adults and children to be as cautious as possible when getting in some ice time.
* Beware of thin ice. Ice that forms on moving waters, including rivers and creeks, is never safe enough to skate on. Such waters should always be avoided no matter how thick the ice may appear. When going ice skating or playing hockey outdoors, only do so on waters that are supervised and have been tested and approved for skating.