Help children play safe outside

Winter offers a lot of different activities for children, but the cold temperatures and slippery or hard surfaces they play on require special attention to keep children safe outside.

Dr. Rody Canning, chief of pediatrics at The Moncton Hospital, part of Horizon Health Network, says that it is important to keep your children safe when they play outside during the winter months and to make sure they are supervised.

“By watching your children while they play, you can intervene if a dangerous situation occurs,” said Canning. It is important to choose play areas away from roads, fences and water and stay away from snowplows or snowblowers.

Children should be kept inside during extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms and if the temperature falls below -25°C (-13°F) regardless of the wind chill or if the wind chill is -28°C (-15°F) or lower, regardless of the temperature. It is also a good idea to have children play close to a warm area, such as near home or a friend’s home, so they can warm up if it gets too cold.

There is plenty of snow to build snow forts and tunnels. Canning says that while building snow forts and tunnels is a fun activity for children, they should be made without a roof as it can collapse and suffocate a child.

“Winter is a great season for outdoor activities and, with precautions and proper supervision, it can be healthy, enjoyable and accident free,” said Canning.

Please see the attached tips for children to safely enjoy winter activities.

Horizon Health Network is the largest health care organization in Atlantic Canada, operating 12 hospitals and more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices providing medical services ranging from acute care to community based health services to New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. With 1000 physicians, an annual budget exceeding $1 billion and 14,000 employees, Horizon Health Network’s strategic vision focuses on research, innovation and education.