Sledding Safety: Important Steps to Avoid Injuries
When the snow begins to fall, you can be sure that children of all ages will be outside playing in the snow, building snowmen and sled riding. As parents and guardians, it is important to understand that the thrill of riding down a snowy, icy hill can quickly turn from fun to tragedy. There are approximately 45,000 sledding injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year. To prevent an injury, always remember these important safety tips that are recommended by Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and supported by KYDZ NATION.
- Make sure children wear a helmet when sled riding. Many head injuries occur because children often ride headfirst. Always supervise young children when they sled ride.
- Teach children to roll off a sled that won’t stop. Tell them not to worry about what happens to the sled. You can help them retrieve it at the bottom of the hill.
- Make sure that children are dressed warmly and that they wear hats, heavy gloves and boots to prevent cuts, bruises and frostbite. If they get wet, encourage them to come inside for dry clothing.
- A “steerable” wooden sled with flexible metal runners is recommended for children ages 6 to 12 years. Inspect the sled often to make sure that it is still in good condition and instruct children to tell you if they have an accident.
- Inner tubes, saucers and snow disks are not recommended because of their fast speed and lack of steering or stopping capability.
- Find a safe environment for children to sled ride. Avoid steep hills, cliffs, rocky hills, the street, driveways, or icy surfaces (you cannot steer or stop on ice) and areas with trees, walls or cars. Do not permit children to sled ride in dark or poorly lit areas.
- Make sure children understand that riding a sled being pulled behind a moving vehicle is extremely dangerous and should never occur.
KYDZ NATION is committed to helping children grow up safe, healthy and strong! Follow our blog for more tips on maintaining a safe and active lifestyle routine for your loved ones.