How to Avoid Sledding Injuries
Most people herald summertime as the most versatile season of the year. After all, you can go hiking, swimming, camping, biking, you name it and you can probably get it done in the summer sun. But winter is just as versatile as is summer, and in winter you can enjoy some activities that you can’t engage in at any other time of year, like snowmobiling, building a snowman and, of course, the quintessential wintertime activity: sledding.
As a parent, you know that wintertime comfort and safety means bundling up your kids and keeping a close eye whenever ice is nearby. But even after you pack your children tight in a snow suit, a coat, a warm hat and wool gloves and outfit them with snow grip boots to avoid slip and fall injuries, there are still some hazards that you have to worry about once they hit the nearby snowy hills. Whether your child is using a toboggan, a snow tube or a traditional sled, you’ll need these tips to keep them moving like lightning speed rather than crumpled up in a heap at the bottom.
- Teach your children how to properly roll off of a sled that is going too fast and won’t stop. Most sledding injuries happen when your child can’t control a runaway sled and end up crashing.
- Ensure that your children wear a helmet when sledding and that they always ride feet first to help minimize the risk of head injuries.
- Get a sled that is rated for your child’s age. Younger kids from 6 to 12 are best served by sleds that are easy to steer.
- Avoid allowing your children to use sleds that are not easy to control. Inner tubes and snow saucers have slick bottoms with little traction and can be difficult to control, impossible to stop and are easy to flip over, especially if your child hits a patch of ice or a bump in the hill.
- Choose safe places for sledding. These areas include shallow hills without parking lots, streets or water features at the bottom, and that are well lit during the times your child will be sledding.