Sledding safety tips for enjoying winter without a trip to the ER

February 14, 2014


By: Holly Woerner Basta






    Schools are out, there’s a long holiday weekend ahead and more snow in the forecast for this weekend. After all this time in the house you and your kids are probably ready to get out of the house and enjoy the best part about all this snow. It is prime time for sledding, snowboarding and tubing.  Before you head out we want to give you a few tips to make sure you and your family enjoy the snow as safely as possible.

    Each year over 4,000 kids around the U.S. suffer head or neck injuries from sledding accidents. Hospital ERs see close to the same numbers of patients reporting fractures due to sledding related activities. An old family pastime has become more dangerous than ever.

    Did you know that sledders are more likely to be injured than skiers or snowboarders ? Best way to avoid injury ? Common sense is the number one rule, but let’s go over a few key tips to keep sledding safe and fun. First and foremost, young kids should always be supervised by an adult when sledding. If you have older kids, talk to them about the points listed below.


                      Young children should wear a helmet.A simple bike or sport helmet

             will do.


                     Steerable sleds are safer than snow discs and toboggans.


                  Avoid sledding near trees, fences, utility poles.


              Sledding down stairs is not advisable.


              Riding a sled towed by an car, ATV or other motorized vehicle

              is dangerous.


·                             Never sled in an area where the dropoff ends in the street or water.

·                            Try to choose hills covered with thick snow rather than ice.

·                            Unless in a very well lit area, sledding at night is just a bad idea.


    Lastly, clothing choices are an important factor in deciding whether or not your child is ready to head out for hours of play in the snow. It seems silly to have to state the obvious here, but I see so many kids running around in shorts without a coat during winter months I figured it was worth noting that warm clothing should always be worn when sledding.  That means winter coats, hats, gloves, and boots to keep warm.  Hypothermia and frostbite can happen quickly in cold temperatures, especially if  your clothes become wet from melting snow.

  Now that we covered all the not so fun stuff, go out and enjoy today’s warmer temperatures and some of the white fluffy goodness !  Send us photos of your sledding and snow adventures over the next few days.

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