Sledding can be an excellent way to enjoy the winter weather. The joy of speeding down the hill can make it easy to forget that this activity can also lead to injuries. Taking a few safety measures can help keep you and your kids safe on the hills this winter. The following are recommendations from the Child Injury Prevention Alliance:
SLEDDING INJURY FACTS
- Injuries often occur when the sled hits a stationary object or when the child falls off the sled.
- Bruises, cuts and broken bones are the most common injuries.
- Head and neck injuries are common among children 6 years old and younger.
- GETTING READY TO SLED
- Always wear a helmet to prevent head injuries. Multi-sport and bicycle helmets are good options.
- Sleds that can be steered may be safer than flat sheets, snow discs, toboggans, and tubes.
- Make sure children are dressed warmly and that they are wearing gloves and boots.
- Avoid sledding in areas with trees, fences, and light poles or on rocky hills.
- Teach children to have an adult with them when they go sledding.
- Always go down the hill feet first.
- Learn how to stop and turn the sled by using your feet.
- Have only the recommended number of passengers on a sled at one time.
- Do not sled in the street or on a highway.
- Never ride a sled being pulled by a car, ATV, snowmobile or other motorized vehicle.
- Avoid sledding on driveways, hills or slopes that end in a street, drop off, parking lot, river or pond.
- It is easier to see when you sled during the day. If you are going to sled at night, make sure the hill is well lit and that it is easy to see any potential hazards.