Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy Year Round


The Children's Distributes over 215-thousand Calendars To Elementary School Children

To commemorate its 100th anniversary, The Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has produced a 2004 calendar entitled KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE AND HEALTHY. The bilingual calendar is a 'birthday present' to the children and families of Quebec. This week, over 215-thousand copies of the calendar will be distributed to elementary school students in the greater Montreal area including Laval and the South Shore.

The calendar contains injury prevention and health tips designed to help children play safe and stay safe. It offers advice on such things as how to prevent injuries while playing hockey, how to prevent burns and how to fend of colds and the flu.

We would like to thank all participating schools for supporting this project.

To make sure everyone has a safe and healthy Christmas, holiday season and New Year, the Trauma Program of The Children's offers the following advice:

"We'd like parents to encourage their children to participate in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and skating in order to stay active and healthy," says Debbie Friedman, head of the Trauma Program at The Children's. "But please make sure your kids play safe by making sure they wear approved helmets and other protective equipment in order to prevent potentially serious injuries. Also, remember it is important to use common sense, provide adequate supervision, and set a positive example."

Infants and toddlers

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season take extra precautions with infants and toddlers such as:

  • Never leave an infant unattended on a bed, couch, changing table, counter top shopping cart or trunk of car
  • Make sure that infants and toddlers are buckled into their high chairs and infant seats
  • Never leave infants and toddlers unattended in an infant bath seat
  • Baby walkers are not recommended
  • Be careful about allowing young children to hold or carry infants as they can be easily distracted and drop the baby.

Preventing frostbite

Parents should be aware of the early signs (tingling, change in skin color, loss of sensation, and irritability) and ensure that

  • Dress warmly when playing outdoors
  • Dress in layers making sure head, feet, hands, and ears are well protected
  • Change wet socks, gloves, and mittens immediately

When tobogganing

  • Protective helmets (ski or hockey type) should be worn
  • Check for obstacles such as park benches, trees, bails of hay, or fences that may obstruct the path
  • Check the surface of the hill, icy conditions are dangerous
  • Quickly move off the slope once at the bottom to avoid being hit by oncoming sliders
  • Adult supervision is recommended
  • Slide during daylight hours, many injuries occur in the late afternoon or early evening

When snowboarding

  • Wear a ski or snowboarding helmet, protective goggles, elbow, and knee pads
  • Make sure to receive proper instruction on how to use equipment
  • Avoid hills that exceed skill level
  • Watch out for others on the hill so as to avoid collisions
  • Remember this is considered an extreme sport. Protective equipment should be worn but it does not make you invincible or give you a ticket to take greater risks.

When playing in the snow

  • Snowballs should only be thrown when the snow is soft. Icy snow is hard & sharp and can cause serious injuries
  • When playing with snowballs never aim at a person's head, eyes or face

When playing hockey

  • Wear approved protective equipment as per standard regulations. Check to ensure a proper fit. Helmets, face guards and neck guards are mandatory but do not make you invincible
  • The rules of the game need to be respected. There should be a zero tolerance towards intentional violence
  • Parents and coaches must teach teamwork and good sportsmanship. Remember it is only a game.

When skiing

  • Wear a well fitted ski helmet that meets approved standards
  • Avoid slopes that are beyond the capability of the child or adolescent
  • Make sure equipment is age-appropriate and checked for safety at the beginning of the season
  • Check the ski conditions before setting out icy conditions are dangerous

When skating

  • Wear helmets which are recommended for hockey. Consider using elbow & knee pads for beginners
  • Make sure that skates are the appropriate size and worn correctly to support the foot & ankle
  • Skates being carried should have skate guards
  • Younger children & novice skaters require adult supervision

Contact Information

Lisa Dutton
MUHC Public Relations and Communications
lisa.dutton [at]
Office Phone: