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Sled Riding Safety Tips

Sled Riding

Stay Safe with These Sled Riding Tips

Each year, as the snow starts to fall and the temperature drops, it's a tradition for many families to take to the nearby hillsides for some sledding fun. While sledding provides hours of fun, there are a few things about it that might surprise you:

  • Sled riders are more likely to be injured during collisions than skiers or snowboarders.
  • Nearly 30% of children hospitalized after a sledding accident suffered significant head injuries – 10% had a permanent disability.

For a safe and happy sledding adventure, make sure to follow our sledding safety tips and check out our Sledding Safety Infographic as well.

Sledding Safety Tips

  • Bundle up – Signs of frostbite appear quickly on exposed skin when it's especially cold. Wear a winter coat, water-resistant pants, gloves, hats, and boots.
  • Protect Your Noggin – Wearing a helmet can help to prevent traumatic brain injuries. No winter sports helmet? Wear your bike helmet instead.
  • The Right Angle – Find a hill that isn't too steep. Make sure it flattens out towards the bottom, so you'll have an area to stop.
  • Look Out! – Be sure your slope is free from obstacles before you take off. Keep a watch for fences and trees, as well as rocks, boulders, or covered tree stumps.
  • Daylight Rider – Sledding at night can make it difficult to see obstacles, hazards, and even other people. Stick to daytime rides.
  • Feet First! – Never sled with your head. Make sure you're seated feet first and facing forward.
  • Watch for Others – When climbing back up the hill, make sure you're on the lookout for other sled riders coming towards you.
  • Perfect Fit – Make sure you use a sled that's right for your age, height, and weight.
  • Control is Key – Avoid sleds that can't be steered. Also, don't use objects like lunch trays or inner tubes in place of actual sleds.
  • Passengers – Never ride with more people than a sled is designed to hold.
  • Tricks – Avoid going off jumps or otherwise trying to do tricks while sledding.
  • The Right Call – Make sure to bring a cell phone along with you for any sled riding. It'll be there in case of any emergencies.
  • End of the Line – Don't ride a hill that ends with you sliding into a street or anywhere else with possible traffic.

Keep these safety tips in mind for your next trip to the local sled-riding hill. With these precautions, you can keep your family safe and happy this winter. Be sure to check out our other winter & holiday safety tips.

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"Safety Tips: Sledding." KidsHealth.
"Sledding Injuries: A Significat Cause of Hospitalizations, Injuries During Winter Months." American Academy of Pediatrics. October 15, 2011.
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