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It’s a good idea to do a little preparation ahead of time when it comes to winter sports, so kids – and adults – stay safe and warm. Here’s what you need to consider.

Stay warm: No matter which sport you enjoy, staying warm and dry is important, so you want to make sure you have the right clothing and equipment. Dressing in layers is the key to staying warm. You may want to test out some of the newer fabrics designed for sub-zero temperatures to see which one works best for you. The layer right next to your skin should wick away sweat, so the fabric stays dry and you stay warm. Wear a heavy jacket, snow pants, warm socks and boots, hat and a scarf to cover as much of your skin as possible. Select a pair of mittens to keep your hands warm, instead of gloves. Gloves separate your fingers, which increases the surface area that is exposed to the elements.  Having all of your fingers in one area will keep your hands much warmer!

Sun protection: If you are planning a long day of skiing and snowboarding with your friends, make sure to apply sunscreen to your face. Snow and ice reflect the sun’s rays at a high intensity, which can cause a sun burn. The cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID suggest wearing a minimum SPF of 15 on your face before you hit the slopes. It is also important to wear sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from the sun.

Choose appropriate areas: When you grab your sled or snowboard this winter, make sure you head to the designated hills designed for each activity. If you’re skating on a pond or lake, make sure the ice is properly frozen. If the “safe zone” is set within a designated area, be sure to stay within those limits.

Protect yourself: Take the appropriate precautions before participating in any winter activities this season. For instance, if you are an avid skier or snowboarder, make sure you always wear a helmet. To avoid collisions, make sure your path is always clear before descending down the hill.  It’s also important to use the proper equipment. The type and size of the equipment is determined by your height, weight and style of riding.  Visit your local ski or snowboard shop to determine what size and type of equipment is best for you.

Clean gear: Cleaning your gear properly is the key to keeping it in pristine condition. When you are finished skiing or skating, make sure to wipe the blades of your skates and skis with a dry microfibre cloth. Throwing your gear into your sports bag or trunk when it is still wet, can cause mildew, rusting and odour. When it comes to washing your clothing and winter apparel, the cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID suggest soaking them in a mixture of one part water and one part white vinegar (or baking soda, instead of the vinegar) to remove any odours. Once you have finished soaking the clothing, wash them as usual.