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Published December 05, 2013, 06:44 PM

Safety tips for kids playing in the snow

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Those piles of snow may look tempting to children, but you may want to think twice before letting your kids play near them.

By: Drew Trafton, WDAY

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Those piles of snow may look tempting to children, but you may want to think twice before letting your kids play near them.

Snow piles like the one behind me, found in parking lots and on the side of roads turn into playgrounds for children during afternoons and weekends. And that, in hand with poor conditions, can create a deadly combination.

Sean likes to shred through powder down hills near his home in Detroit Lakes.

Nearby is large, fresh pile of snow in a parking lot and although other kids have been playing on it,

"What were they doing?"

Sean St. Claire/Snowboarder: "Um... playing King of the Hill."

Sean steers clear of playing on it... because of one simple reason.

Sean: " Because if a car comes."

It's a message his mother Stephanie has been pounding in his head since he was young-- out of fear for the worst.

Stephanie St. Claire/Sean’s Mom: "Sliding, not stopping fast enough. Hitting my kids."

That fear is not unfounded.

Stephanie: "Sliding and not being able to stop would be my big thing."

According to Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of accidental death in children aged 5 to 14.

And the majority of those incidents take place away from intersections at places like this.

The problem is really a two way street. Drivers need to maintain visibility, slowdown in residential areas and parking lots especially between the hours of three and six in the evening when foot and car traffic peaks.

For pedestrians, it may be appealing to walk on a plowed street as opposed to a snowy sidewalk, but the narrowed roadways can deceive even experienced drivers when it comes to depth and distance."

Stephanie: "Keep them away from cars, trucks, whatever is pulling through-- snow plows."

The bottom line, whether driving, walking or boarding, it's important to be alert, especially when you might not expect anything.

Another factor to keep in mind is your body temperature.

Study after study has shown that a lower body temperature can drastically slow the time it takes you to react to something jumping out at you.

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