It’s time to break out the sleds and head to the nearest snow-covered hill for a favorite wintertime activity – sledding!

While it’s great fun, a day on the sled could mean a trip to the emergency department. Each year, more than  20,000 people, most under the age of 19, are seen at hospitals in the United States because of sledding accidents. About a third of those are head injuries. Others include fractures of the spine and ribs, and even injuries to internal organs.

Follow these tips for safe sledding

  1. Make sure hills for sledding are smooth and not too steep.
  2. Don’t use a sled on hills with obstacles like trees and rocks.
  3. Never sled toward a road or pond.
  4. Children should always wear helmets.
  5. Use sleds with a steering mechanism. Never use a sled substitute, such as a cafeteria tray. 
  6. Always slide feet first – never head first.
  7. Take turns down the trail, one sled at a time.
  8. Stay clear of other sleds while walking back up the hill.
  9. Sled only during the day or in well-lit areas.
  10. Dress appropriately and in layers to avoid cold-related injuries and hypothermia.

For more safety tips, visit our website or call the Injury Prevention Center at 401-444-2208.

Lifespan Blog Team

The Lifespan Blog Team is working to provide you with timely and pertinent information that will help keep you and your family happy and healthy.