Set Up Your Yard for Safe Winter Sports

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Winter sports can be fun, but might cause injuries if you haven't taken a few extra minutes to carefully ensure that your yard is a safe place. Your yard can be the perfect spot for winter sports, especially if you have a few hills and plenty of space. Be responsible enough to create a safe area for winter sports by following a few simple guidelines.

Use Some Salt

Make sure to salt any driveways, sidewalks, or walkways that are heavily traveled by foot. Even if the space is small, using salt will ensure that any snow packed down by foot will not melt and refreeze into an icy, slippery pathway. Salt these walkways regularly to keep friends and family members safe.

Prep for Sledding

Sledding is an outdoor sport that everyone in the family can enjoy. Make sure that the route taken for sledding is clear of any trees and debris, as it is easy to get off track by just a few feet while sledding if you’re going fast. Try to give all trees in the area at least 2 feet of distance from the path, if not more, to avoid crashes. Also, ensure that nobody walks or plays in the sledding pathways while others are sledding.

Prep for Ice Skating

Ice skating can be a very dangerous sport, especially in your own yard if you have a pool, pond, or creek that freezes over. Do not advertise ice skating as something the whole neighborhood can come and do in your yard. Instead, keep it quiet and safe. Ice, especially above a small body of water, can be especially dangerous. Please ensure that ice is very thick and will not break with the pressure of your weight upon it. You may do this with an ice chisel or other tools. Never attempt to go out onto ice that is less than 4 inches thick. Nobody should be on the ice without ice skates or shoes that have super grip traction and are designed for walking on ice or snow.

Wear Sunscreen

It is essential to wear sunscreen in the winter during outdoor activities in the snow. Since temperatures are so cold, you might forget to wear sunscreen altogether because you are thinking that sunscreen is only needed on warm, summer days, which is false. Winter sunshine is completely different than summer sunshine. In the winter, the sun’s rays reflect off the snow, which means the sun’s rays in winter actually hit your skin twice. This is a recipe for sunburn, unless you use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Dress Appropriately

When playing winter sports, make sure you are dressed warm enough. Wear gloves, a hat, a scarf and plenty of warm layers. A thick jacket is always a good idea. Long underwear, leggings or tights underneath pants can provide extra layers of protection from moisture, wind and cold air. Wear two pairs of socks and waterproof shoes. Your shoes must also have lots of traction to prevent you from slipping.