January 25, 2016
When there’s snow on the ground, kids (and no small number of adults, for that matter) are ready to pull out their sleds and find the nearest hill, even if it’s just a big lump in the backyard. Or maybe a toboggan run is more your speed.
Regardless, it’s important to remember safety. According to research sited by the National Safety Council, more than 20,000 kids younger than 19 are treated for sledding injuries on average each year. Not surprising when those sleds can reach upwards of 25 miles per hour.
In one case heard about here in the Meemic office, a child was severely injured when a sled being pulled by an off-road vehicle hit a tree.
Here are several tips from the National Safety Council:
- Make sure all sledders wear a helmet.
- Make sure all equipment is in good condition, free of sharp edges and cracks.
- Sled on spacious, gently sloping hills with a level run-off at the end so the sled can safely stop.
- Check slopes for bare spots, holes and other obstructions which might cause injury. Bypass these areas or wait until conditions are better.
- Make sure the sledding path does not cross traffic and is free from hazards such as large trees, fences, rocks or telephone poles.
- Do not sled on or around frozen lakes, streams or ponds.
- Riders should sit or lay on their back on top of the sled with feet pointing downhill; never sled head first.
- Dress warmly, and wear thick gloves or mittens and heavy boots to protect against frostbite and injury.