2 minute readDisaster

Six Pieces of Advice if You’re Headed to a Snowball Fight

Whether you’re tossing a few clumps of snow with your kids, or launching a full-scale operation, here are a few tips to help stay safe while playing in the snow.

Dress appropriately

winter boots and socks with leggings
Boots and layers — check and check!

Heading out the door? Put something on your head! And grab a coat, gloves and insulated boots while you’re at it. Wearing layers of clothing will also help you stay warm.

Heading out the door? Put something on your head! And grab a coat, gloves and insulated boots while you’re at it. Wearing layers of clothing will also help you stay warm.

Use the buddy system

Girls in a snow igloo with a snowball
Please don’t judge me over the content of this photo. I’m pretty sure I was posing with the snowball, and not about to wallop my unsuspecting little sister with it. I think.

Pair up to keep tabs on each other. Make sure your buddy knows and follows all the tips in this post, and be ready to call it quits if anything gets dicey.

Check snowballs for rocks

Man throwing snow
This man is doing a careful check of his snowball material with a sophisticated air sifting method.

Before you chuck, check! For rocks and other debris, that is. Try to use fresh snow from open areas for snowballs, instead of grabbing snow from sidewalks, roads or other places that might kick up dangerous debris to hide in a chilled projectile.

Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks

man holding snowball
One down, one hundred to go.

Strenuous tasks could certainly include things like throwing snowballs. Or building a snow fort. Or shoveling your driveway. Consider your physical condition, the weather and what type of activity you plan on doing to assess whether or not it’s a good idea.

Know signs of a dangerous health condition

snowman with arms to the sky
What does it mean if symptoms include “arms have turned to twigs?”

If you or your buddy show any signs of troubling symptoms, head inside right away (and for hypothermia, call 9-1-1). Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

Have an emergency kit in your vehicle

Car driving through snow covered street in snowzilla
Crossing our fingers they at least threw in some kitty litter before setting off.

Heading out to attend a snowball event, like the yearly Dupont Circle battle in Washington, DC? Stock your vehicle with key emergency kit items in case you have trouble on the way. (And remember, stay off the roads during a winter storm if at all possible!)


Whether or not you’re settling your grievances with a few well-placed snowballs, our most important piece of advice is as follows: Hot cocoa should always be enjoyed with a handful marshmallows on top. Now go have some safe, well-deserved fun!

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