Safe sledding and skating

January 25, 2011

Practice caution when sledding

Keep your teeth safe this winter while sledding and skating

When winter snow starts to fall, kids want to hit the hills and rinks as fast as they can. But a rush for fun doesn't mean you can't be careful when it comes to the safety of your kids' mouths. Keep your snow bunnies safe by following these tips.

While ice skating:

  • Have your kids use mouth guards. Not only do they protect from chipped or broken teeth, but also they can prevent other mouth-related injuries.
  • Watch the rails. One quick slip can lead to a nasty injury, even if your kids are clinging to the handrail.
  • Accidents will happen. Teach your kids to fall safely and how to slow down without slamming into walls.
  • Skate safely outside. Watch for bumps and debris in the ice that might cause your kids to trip.

While sledding:

  • Never sled headfirst. It might give kids an extra thrill, but their teeth are much safer when their legs and rump can protect them from a crash.
  • Sled on smooth surfaces. Packed snow is much safer than rocks and rough dirt.
  • Stay away from jumps and moguls. Rough landings can lead to chipped teeth, cut lips, and other mouth injuries.
  • Watch for wipeouts. At the bottom of the hill, tell your kids to look out, hop up, and head back up the hill. That way, your kids can avoid nasty collisions with other sledders.

And as with any activity, parent or adult supervision is always a good idea. Keep teeth, mouths, and bodies healthy and injury-free this winter season, and the next time the snow starts to fall, you'll be ready to join in the winter wonderland fun.

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