Sledding is a favorite winter pastime, but if you’re not careful what begins as a day filled with fun, can turn into a trip to the doctors office. Keep these tips in mind next time you go sledding and stay safe!
- The first step to staying safe while sledding is to dress for the part. If you’re outside in freezing temperatures, you could be at risk for hypothermia or frost bite. Bundle up for the weather with hats, mittens, snow pants, a winter jacket, and snow boots. Avoid wearing scarves as they can get caught and lead to strangulation.
- Wear a helmet. There are ones that are specifically designed for winter sports, or if you don’t have one of those, wear a bike helmet to protect yourself against collisions.
- Choose the right hill. Not all hills are safe for sledding, and choosing the wrong one can lead to big problems. There are a few things you want to avoid on hills, mainly things you could potentially collide with. You definitely want to avoid hills that end near trees, fences, utility poles, ponds, or other bodies of water.
- You also want to avoid sledding on a hill that ends near a parking lot or street, cars are often not expecting someone on a sled to come speeding by them, and sledding near any moving vehicle could prove to be a recipe for disaster.
- Avoid hills with jumps or other obstacles, sledding can be dangerous enough without subjecting yourself to these hazards. It’s also better to go sledding during daylight so that such obstacles are visible.
- Find a hill that is covered in snow rather than ice, while you may go faster down a hill slick with ice, if you fall off your sled, the landing will be much more painful.
- The best hill to sled on is one that is covered in snow and has a long, flat area at the bottom that will allow you to coast to a stop.
- Find a sled that can be steered by the rider or has a brake on it, they are much safer than typical saucers and toboggans and don’t cost much more.
- Always have an adult on hand that can bring injured sledders to the emergency room, if need be.
- Only one person per sled
- The only exception to the previous rule is adults accompanying children ages 5 and under on their sled.
- Always sit face-front while sledding. Standing, going down backwards, or face first can lead to serious injury.
- Go down one rider at a time, once you reach the bottom, walk back up the side of the hill, and leave the middle of the hill open for other sledders.
- If you find yourself unable to stop while going down the hill, roll off the sled.
- Do not allow children to ride on a sled being pulled by a car, snowmobile, ATV, or any other moving vehicle.
Sledding is supposed to be fun, and we want it to stay that way! These tips will not only keep you safe and warm, they will ensure that fun is had by all!
Photo By: Scott