For those of us who endure snowy winters, sledding is a popular seasonal activity for kids and adults. However, the simplicity of sledding makes it easy to forget that these activities can also lead to injuries. It turns out; nearly 20,000 emergency room visits each year are the result of sledding injuries in patients age 19 and younger.
Young sledders are actually more likely to be injured in collisions than skiers or snowboarders. While it may seem harmless compared to other winter activities, the inability to control most sleds actually increases the hazard. This results in children being the most frequent victims of sledding accidents, which usually result in head and neck injuries. Fortunately, just a few simple safety measures can help keep everyone safe on the hills this winter.
Six Sledding Tips for Kids and Parents:
- Select a hill that is not too steep, near a street, parking lots, ponds, trees, fences or other hazards. Remember, every open slope in town may look like a great location for sledding, but not all hills are safe.
- Avoid sleds that can't be steered, such as tubes, saucers or toboggans, and never substitute strange materials like plastic or cardboard for a sled.
- Never build an artificial jump or obstacle on a sledding hill.
- Sit face-forward on the sled and never go down a hill backward or while standing. But, do not go down the hill face-first, as this greatly increases the risk of a head injury.
- Walk up the side of the hill and leave the middle open for other sledders between rides.
- Never pull sleds behind a moving vehicle.
Property owners of sledding hills, or hills on private property that may attract young sledders, should take precautions to protect themselves from lawsuits and other damages. Posting signs or providing waivers is one way to do this. Many cities and municipalities have even decided it is best not to open hills to the general public at all. However, keeping sledders out can be difficult, so it is important to post signs detailing sledding rules for the hill if it is open to the public.
Sledding is a fun and healthy way to enjoy the outdoors in the winter months that unfortunately comes with a degree of risk. But as long as you and your family keep safety in mind, sledding is still a wonderful way to enjoy the season.In the event that you or your child is injured in a sledding accident due to the negligence of a property owner, or someone else, contact Hupy and Abraham right away. Call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat 24/7 at Hupy.com.