While kids are outside enjoying the snow this winter, there are
things parents can do to keep them safe.
Dr. Denise Dowd, an emergency room doctor for Children's Mercy
Hospital , says the most common things that send children to the
E.R. are sledding accidents.
"Kids love snow, they love to play in the snow, you can hardly
blame them," Dr. Denise Dowd said, "You just want to make sure they
do it in a way that it's monitored by adults."
Dowd says kids like to to pile on top of one another and slide
down a hill. Not only can this be dangerous, it can lead to serious
injuries if there is a collision. Children can also get thrown off
the sled and get hurt.
Dowd also cautions kids who want to slide or ice skate onto a
body of water.
"Here in the Midwest, the ice is not to be trusted," Dowd
She adds Children's Mercy sees many children come into the E.R.
with extremity fractures from children falling on the snow or ice
and fracturing an extremity like their arm or wrist.
Children's Mercy also cautions parents to be mindful of their
children getting frostbite.
Dowd said she doesn't really see it in older children because
they know when to come inside to keep warm. The concern is for the
children who can't talk, especially toddlers 12 to 18 months.
"If you're in the cold as an adult and you're sensing that your
hands are cold, you can bet that their hands are cold," Dowd said,
"In fact, kids are a little bit more sensitive to the cold."
You see it all the time, kids eating snow, but is it safe?
We asked Dr. Dowd and she suggests to stay away from the snow,
because of, "the fact that our (air) environment is not as clean as
it should be and snow comes through that."
Children's Mercy warns the two week period between Christmas and
New Year's is one of the busiest times for the hospital. They see
about 100 to 150 injuries that could have been prevented.
When children are rushed to the E.R., Children's Mercy looks for
the four T's:
• Toxins: Poinsettias or leftover alcoholic drinks can be
toxic if ingested.
• Trees and Decorations: Buy a tree that’s fire
resistant and place it out of the way of traffic, and do not block
doorways. Don’t let her play near the tree; it can fall on
top of her. She can choke on small ornaments or glass ornaments can
break in her hands. Children can be burned or shocked if they play
with the Christmas lights.
• Toys: Watch out for toys with small parts. He could
swallow or choke on them. Also, make sure the toys he plays with
are age appropriate. Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys,
which can cause suffocation.
• Travel: Not all of the homes you visit during the
holidays will be kid friendly. Keep an eye on your child when
visiting friends or relatives.