Now that old man winter has arrived, the winter enthusiasts come out and want to do some winter sports. Some may want their children to venture into a new sport or you may want to try something new as well. Whatever your preferences, here are some tips on staying safe, what winter sports to explore with your children and how to stay warm.
- Winter sports:
There are many things adults and children can enjoy in the snow. You can enjoy sledding by taking a chance on a big hill or even a little one. This is great exercise as well.
Climbing up and down a hill in the snow can defiantly get the heart pumping. Snow Shoeing and cross-country skiing are low impact but also pack a big workout. Ice skating and hockey are great sports to get your children involved in especially at a young age.
They learn the sport of the game and on off games the whole family can skate. Snowboarding, skiing, and tubing are all great recreational sports. Most places give lessons on snowboarding and skiing. Tubing is fun for the whole family. Hiking is a great way to enjoy the woods and does not require any expensive equipment. All of these are great spots however; there are also things you need to keep in mind to stay safe.
- Tips to stay warm:
Dress in layers. A good rule is to dress young children in one more layer than an adult would wear in the same weather. Make sure you wear two pairs of socks in case one gets wet. Also wear clothes that will stay dry such as cotton. Make sure children wear hats. Most body heat is lost through the head. Apply sunscreen on exposed areas of skin, even on a cloudy day, many people don’t think of putting on sunscreen in the winter. But the truth is, you can still get nasty burns from the wind and sun.
- Skiing and snowboarding:
- If this is you/your child’s first time on skies or snowboard consider taking a lesson or two before venturing out on your own.
- Never ski alone.
- Wear helmet and eye gear.
- Be aware of the people around you and don’t venture too far when unsure of your limits.
- American Pediatrics recommends children under 7 do not snowboard.
- Make sure you have snow gear, appropriate skies and snowboard that are for your size.
- Ice skating:
- Never assume lakes and ponds are safe to ice skate on. Call your local Department of Environmental Management to make sure where you are going is safe. Check your local ice skating rinks for open skate. Never ice skate alone.
- Always make sure you have someone with you and phone available in case of an emergency.
- Sledding and tubing:
- Make sure where you decide to slide or tubing, that the hills are free of debris and not close to traffic.
- Always go on hills that are packed with snow, not ice.
- Check for covered hazards such as; tree stumps, holes, and rocks.
- Do not lay down headfirst. If you crash you can get a serious head injury. Always sled feet first not lying down to avoid serious injury.
- Make sure you have a friend or another adult with you.
- Look online for trails, there are many family friendly and pet friendly walking trails in Rhode Island. They vary in length, so you can go for a quick 20 minute walk or even pack a lunch and explore the woods for a few hours.
- Wear bright orange clothing during hunting season. Pay attention to signs near the beginning of a trail that will warn you if hunters are in the area. Wear orange safety material on your body and make sure your children and your pets are covered as well.
- Wear sturdy, waterproof shoes with a good grip and move slowly on slippery rocks and leaves.
Don’t assume that your friend’s skis, ice skates or snow boards is the perfect fit for you. Leave this to the experts. It is what they do best, they know what size is just your right fit, what is the right height and so on. Some sports places even rent out equipment and sometimes cheaper than the resorts. There are many local places to shop and where you can find some great deals.
- Day trips:
Take some day trips to enjoy the outdoors. Looking for just a few hours, you can try Yagoo Valley in Exeter R.I., not that far and they offer lessons, rentals, skiing and tubing daily. Want a little bit bigger hills try a spin at Wachusetts in Princeton Massachusetts. This is not that far of a drive. Some great hills to enjoy for the day. They offer ski packages where you play and stay if you are looking for a couple of days. A day trip is not what you are looking for. Head north to King Pine Ski Resort in Madison NH. Family owned ski resort. Great lodging, good hills. Snowboarding lessons, Ski lessons, tubing, snow shoeing, ice skating, and more. This is a weekend that you and your children won’t forget.
Whatever your winter sport is, stay warm, leave the lessons to the pros, dress warm, don’t do a sport alone and enjoy the winter season and maybe a new a sport.