Kids With Sickle Cell Disease and Skiing

Kids With Sickle Cell Disease and Skiing

My daughter’s favorite activity is skiing. Honestly, when I took her to a ski resort for the very first time, I was nervous. Although traveling and skiing is not unique, my daughter has sickle cell disease and skiing can be complicated.

It also should be noted that people living with sickle cell disease should avoid extreme temperatures. In the back of my mind I kept thinking about the fact that the only crisis my daughter ever had was weather related so I was right to be cautious about our trip and activity. Therefore to prepare, I researched beforehand and proceeded cautiously. Especially, knowing that high elevations are not favorable for sickle cell patients, I spoke to her doctor and ultimately choose not to hinder her from experiencing the sport of skiing.

She absolutely loved her experience and so I wanted to encourage other parents with this post. This post is not providing any medical advice, but it is sharing our positive experience.

In order to make our trip work, we had to prepare responsibly. Below are some of things that we brought with us on the trip and tips that helped us keep her from experiencing a crisis.

She dressed warmly and wore the following:

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  • A warm snow-suit – (Boys)
  • Wool socks –
  • Insulated gloves –
  • Snow boots –
  • Long johns –
  • Snow googles with UV protection –
  • and hand warmers for afterwards –
  • Insulated Jacket *optional –

How Long Did You Ski?

Overall, I only allowed her to ski for one day, she did fine, and loved the experience. In addition, we made sure that she was well hydrated and well rested before the trip even started. My daughter also showed no signs of crisis afterwards. I should mention though, that I was sore after a day of skiing.

The day we went was in February and the machines were making snow because it wasn’t a snowy day nor was it very cold. In fact, while skiing she became so warm that I allowed her to unzip her coat (so I encourage you to dress your child in layers). Skiing is very active so you also want to avoid overheating and overexertion.)

How did you prepare while there?

While on the trip my daughter took a ski class and learned how to ski properly. Thankfully, she was even better at it than I was. She skied for hours, but we encouraged her to take water breaks to make sure that she stayed hydrated and did not over exert herself.

Remember to be cautious and only go skiing if it right for you and your family. People with sickle cell and sickle cell trait should be cautious when visiting high altitude areas. When we visited a ski resort it was in PA and in VA so the altitudes were no where near the same high elevations that are in Colorado. Also take your doctor’s advice and be cautious. 

Kids With Sickle Cell Disease and Skiing

Further Precautions

Additionally, sickle cell patients are not all the same. My daughter does have ss, but she has experienced minor symptoms compared to other children with sickle cell disease. We believe in be aware, but wanted to share our positive experience, but we know that everyone will not have the same story following their opportunity to ski.

If you’re thinking about taking your child traveling please check out my post: “4 Ways to Keep Your Child with Sickle Cell Healthy on Vacation.”

If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

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