Why Parents Should Beware the Snow

kids-in-snowA snow fort in the middle of a parking lot almost spelled disaster for some Indiana kids this week – and it had nothing to do with the snow. It was the plow headed straight for what looked like a useless pile of white stuff where cars should be.

Driver Mike Tuttle’s brush with the near death of a group of kids playing in the snow is the sort of stuff that gives highway crews everywhere nightmares – and should be freaking out more parents.

Sure, snow is fun, but when I caught Tuttle’s story on the Website of Indiana news station WSBT, it brought to mind the horror stories I’ve heard over the years as niece of a highway superintendent in upstate New York.

The kids come zipping out into the road on uncontrollable sleds, and the plow truck has no time to stop – not to mention no way on the slippery roads. Even the kids off the road are a danger – as Tuttle’s story highlights – there are the piles in the driveaways and parking lots where crews are sent to plow. Then there are the kids standing roadside, who can just as easily be caught by the wing of that extra-long plow as if they were actually in the roadway.

The height of the snow combined with the lack of height of the kids makes for a dangerous mix. And yet wintertime seems to be the last bastion of childhood freedom. Perhaps because the snow keeps more drivers off the road providing the false sense of quiet and safety outside or because parents are more fond of keeping their tootsies warm while the kids indulge in the white stuff, winter is the time more kids are outside playing alone.

Perhaps my uncle (and grandfather who held the same position before him) have ruined my taste for winter wonder. But at the risk of sounding like a cranky old crone, beware the snow – winter white does nothing to improve the look of the cemetery.

Image: Tiffanywashko, via flickr

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