The snow may be melting this week, but it’s still the perfect time to think about sledding safety before the next batch of snow hits.
Parents and caregivers should take steps to keep kids safe while enjoying the snow this winter, experts say.
From 1997 to 2007, about 229,023 patients 19 years old and younger were treated for sledding-related injuries in U.S. emergency departments, with an average of 20,820 cases annually, according to a study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, published in the journal “Pediatrics.” The most commonly injured body part was the head, the study found.
This winter, Dayton Children’s Medical Center already has seen a number of severe sledding-related injuries that have required hospital admission.
Lisa Schwing, trauma program manager at Dayton Children’s, offers these tips to make sure children stay safe while sledding.
- “Never sled alone.”
- “Choose hills with gentle slopes that have a long run off area at the end.”
- “Avoid hills that end at roads, railways, rivers, fences or parking lots.”
- “Do not sled around frozen lakes or ponds.”
- “Children younger than 12 years old always should have adult supervision.”
- “Only sled in daylight or well-lit areas.”
- “Choose hills that are free from trees, rocks, holes, fences and signs, and avoid hills that have icy spots and grassy or dirt areas exposed.”
To read more about children’s health and safety, go to www.childrensdayton.org.
More safety tips
Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus recommends taking these safety measures when kids are getting ready to sled.
- “Make sure children are dressed warmly and that they are wearing gloves and boots.”
- “Always wear a helmet to prevent head injuries. Multi-sport and bicycle helmets are good options.”
- “Sleds that can be steered are safer than flat sheets, snow discs and toboggans.”