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Preventing Sledding Injuries

Many children will find sleds under the Christmas tree this year, but while sledding can be a fun thrill, it can also be dangerous.

Thousands of children needed emergency room treatment last year as a result of sledding injuries, and there's been a 30 percent increase in sledding injuries in the United States since 1990, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Children aged 5 to 9 are most susceptible. That's because they lack experience with speed and have underdeveloped coordination.

Sledding on a street is five times more likely to result in an injury than sledding in a yard or park. Most sledding accidents happen on weekends in January and February, and people who sled in a headfirst position are most vulnerable to injury.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following safety advice:

  • Use sleds that you can steer rather than snow discs.

  • Sled only where the bottom of the hill is away from motor traffic.

  • Watch out for trees and snow-covered hazards.

  • Don't ride flat. Sit up and face forward.

  • Wear a bike helmet and mouth guard.

  • Climb back up the hill on the side of the sled run, not in the middle where you may be hit by another sled.

  • Don't ride sleds onto water hazards, such as rivers or streams with thin ice.

More information

Here's where you can find out more about sledding safety.


Reference Source 101

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