sledding-safety-tipsA recent study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that more than 20,000 children go the emergency room each year for sledding-related injuries and 71% of all sledding injuries occur without adult supervision. It is recommended that parents or guardians keep an eye on all children younger than 12 and hop on the sled with those younger than five to help avoid injury. So while sledding is a favorite winter pastime, you need to be cautious and keep these tips in mind.

Choose a Safe Sled

  • No sharp edges, cracks or missing parts
  • No substitutes like oversized trays, cardboard boxes or garbage can lids

Dress Appropriately

  • Wear multiple layers of wind- and water-resistant clothing
  • Using helmets can greatly reduce the chance of head injuries
  • Don’t wear clothing with drawstrings or scarves that can risk strangulation. Make sure to tuck your scarf ends tightly into a coat, or opt for a neck gaiter or mask that covers the face and neck.

Find a Safe Sledding Hill

  • Stay away from busy roads
  • Make sure there is a long, flat area at the bottom for stopping
  • Avoid hazards and obstacles, such as trees, fences, ponds, rocks, poles and bare spots
  • Steer clear of icy slopes which make it hard to steer or stop safely

Sled with Caution

  • Always sled sitting up and facing forward
  • Avoid collisions by going down the hill one at a time
  • Never ride a sled being pulled by a moving vehicle
  • Keep your arms and legs inside the sled at all times
  • Walk up the side of the hill to avoid collisions