March is just around the corner, but if the snow bankings outside are any indication there is still plenty of time to enjoy winter outdoor activities. Here are 3 ways that you can enjoy this year’s record breaking snowfall
1.Sledding: Some communities around the country have banned sledding because of injury and liability concerns. Sledding is legal here in Massachusetts but there are a few things to keep in mind.
–Don’t go sledding alone, children should always have an adult with them.
–Avoid areas with trees, fences, light poles or rocky hills. Also avoid sledding on driveways or hills that end in a street, parking lot or body of water.
–Always go feet first.
–Helmets should be worn to prevent head injuries.
–Sleds that can be steered are safer than flat sheets, snow tubes and toboggans
–Have only the recommended number of passengers on the sled at one time.
2.Ice Skating: Ice skating on outdoor bodies of water is always a risk, but there are some things you can do to insure you don’t end up on thin ice. If you are not sure how thick the ice is, don’t go on it.
-Make sure ice is at least 6 inches thick before you walk out of it, 8 inches if you are with a group of people.
-Clear blue ice is the strongest, white opaque is half as strong and gray is unsafe.
-Have a plan in place for if the ice breaks, and never skate alone. Tell someone where you are going and bring an extra set of dry clothes to change into if you fall through to prevent hypothermia.
– Flowing water near the edges of ice, under the ice, or cracks in the ice are indicators that the ice is not safe.
– find an alternative place to skate if there is any doubt
3.Skiing and Snowboarding: Skiing and Snowboarding can be enjoyable in many ways, but also can be very dangerous.
– Beginners should take lessons. Like anything the best way to become a good skier or snowboarder and stay safe on the slopes is to learn from a qualified instructor.
–Obtain proper equipment. This includes helmets for children, sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes and layers to accommodate your body’s changing temperatures.
–Start slow. If you find yourself on a slope that exceeds your ability, leave your skis/snowboard on and side step down the slope.
–drink plenty of water so that you don’t become dehydrated, avoid drugs and alcohol.
–For more Safety tips from the National Ski Areas Association check out: https://www.nsaa.org/safety-programs/safety-facts-tips/skiing-snowboarding-tips/