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Staying Safe on Sleds During the Winter

On a snowy day, there is no better place to be than the sledding hill. Once the snow starts falling, kids begin scoping out local hills for the perfect place to sled. Sledding is a fun way to bundle up and enjoy the outdoors, but each winter, sledding on hills in city parks, streets and resort areas sends thousands of people to the emergency room. Most sledding-related injuries are head injuries which can be very serious and even deadly. At Hupy and Abraham we know that accidents happen, but with a few easy tips we can help avoid unnecessary injury and continue enjoying the slopes.

Supervise and be safe by example. Once a safe area to sled has been selected, it is still necessary for adults to supervise sledding children to ensure that they won’t collide with other sledders and there are no cars nearby. Sometimes adults are also injured, or involved with injuries, when they choose to utilize a vehicle like a snowmobile to pull sleds. This is never recommended and increases the risk of collisions.

Choose your hill carefully. Never sled on or near city streets. They may seem like the perfect place, but there is no way to account for unexpected vehicles or accidentally crashing into a parked car. Make sure the sledding path does not cross road or foot traffic and is free from hazards such as large trees, fences, cars, or telephone poles.

Wear a helmet. Young children are at greatest risk for head and neck injuries, and their overall coordination is not as developed as adults. It is crucial to protect your head in case of a crash or fall. Teach children how to roll from a sled that they fear is too fast and/or may crash.

Check that the sled is safe and sturdy. Sleds and toboggans should be made of sturdy materials with no cracks or broken pieces. Plastic sheets are dangerous because they lack sides and can be pierced by sharp objects on the ground. Inner tubes and snow disks are not recommended because of their fast speed and lack of steering capability.

Go down hill safely. Always sit face-forward on the sled, and never go down head-first. Also remember to take turns sledding and only ride with two people if the sled is built for two riders. Children under five should always be accompanied by an adult when sledding.

At Hupy and Abraham we hope that all of your winter activities are fun, fulfilling and safe. But, if for some reason you or a loved one experience an accident while sledding or enjoying similar winter activities, please contact our personal injury attorney’s toll free at 800-800-5678.