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No adult is going to stop children from throwing snowballs, but there are ways to minimize the potential dangers by giving kids some basic advice, says Mary Gardner of the Benedum Pediatric Trauma Program at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Children need to know that densely packed snowballs with rocks or sticks inside are very dangerous to the people they hit, Gardner points out. They also should be warned against throwing a snowball at someone's head or face.

Gardner says the most common injuries that hospitals see from snowballs are face and scalp lacerations, eye damage and split lips.

Children must understand, too, how distracting snowballs aimed at cars and trucks can be to the drivers. Gardner points out that driving in snow is hard enough without the loud thumps of snowballs hitting the vehicle to cause drivers to lose their concentration.

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