Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sledding Safety

   Well with snow on the ground I thought I would go after one of my favorite things to do as a child, Sledding and Tubing! Sledding/Tubing was always fun, I remember whenever it would snow I would always want to go so bad that I would run and try to slide across the front yard if we couldn't make it to a hill. Luckily I live in Utah and we rarely have a shortage of snow in the winter. With that being said we also have a lot of injuries here and deaths every year due to winter sports sledding, tubing, skiing, snowboarding etc. (This article is only going to cover sledding and tubing) So I thought I would do some sledding/tubing safety facts and tips.

   Although most areas can only enjoy the fun of Sledding/Tubing a couple months out of the year the United States sees upwards of 20,000 children in the Emergency room each year. The injuries range from minor bumps and bruises to the occasional death (approximately 5 a year). Most of the injuries are caused by the child sledding in their yard and into the road getting hit by a car/truck or by being pulled by a car/truck/ATV down the street on a sled or tube. 

   Safety Tips
  • Supervise - Always be there to supervise your child as they do anything that could lead to such injuries.
  • Face Forward - Children should always SIT (not stand or lay down) face forward when you sled. This way when you are going if you see a danger you have more of a chance of getting out of the way and preventing it.
  • Under 5 - Children under 5 should always ride with someone.
  • Artificial Jumps - You shouldn't allow your children to make artificial jumps.
  • 1 at a time - You shouldn't allow your children to go down more then one at a time. Never pile onto a sled or tube.
  • Vehicles - NEVER pull a sled or tube with a vehicle of any sort. This is extremely dangerous.
  • Arms and Legs - Have your kids keep their arms and legs held inside the sled/tube to prevent injuries.
Choosing Where To Sled
  • Avoid hills that are next to parking lots and road ways.
  • Avoid hills that have a lot of trees
  • Avoid hills that have a pond next to it
  • Avoid hills that have fences or other hazards
  • Select a hill that is not to steep and has plenty of stopping area at the bottom of the hill.
  • Make sure the hill is cleared of any rocks, shrubs, trees, jumps and bumps before sledding/tubing
  • Don't sled down an Icy hill just Snowy ones as a fall on the icy ones can cause more injuries.
   It is also recommended to wear a properly fit helmet as most serious injuries due to any winter sport is a head injury. Make sure you are dressed for the weather and have a dry set of clothing just in case you need it. Don't stay out after dark as it is harder to see the obstacles that might be in your way. Most of all go out and have fun but be safe doing it.

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