Four Ways to Sled—Safely

Article Date: Feb 5, 2014

Sledding safely

Sledding accidents land about 20,000 children in the emergency department each year. Researchers found those ages 10 to 14 were more likely to sustain fractures while those 15 to 19 were more likely to have sprains or strains. Traumatic brain injuries made up nine percent of the total. Here are four tips to stay safe while sledding.

  1. Sledding areas should be far from streets and away from trees, fences or other obstacles.

  2. Young children should be supervised. Seventy-one percent of all sledding injuries happen when there’s no adult supervision.

  3. Discourage use of snow disks or tubes, which can rotate and cause the child to lose control.

  4. Consider the use of helmets, especially for children under 12 years old. Helmets are 85 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.They already are recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for children who are skiing and snowboarding. A sled going down a steep hill can travel more than 25 miles per hour; if a rider is thrown the injuries can be serious, or even fatal.

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