Sledding is a great way to stay active during the time of year that most people tend to stay indoors. In order to keep safe on the slopes, review tips before you head out the door.
- Bundle up! Here are some tips on how to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.
- Encourage taking some breaks to warm up and also stay hydrated.
- Choose a designated sledding hill that is free of trees and away from busy roads.
- Helmets should be worn by all children under the age of 12. Ideally this would be a helmet specifically designed for winter sports, but a bicycle helmet could be used as well.
- Discourage riding head first on a sled. Always have your child sit forward facing.
- Teach kids to keep their arms and legs inside the sled and if they should fall out, move out of the path of others.
- Never use a motorized vehicle to pull a sled. The most severe sledding injuries we’ve seen at our trauma center were caused by this mechanism.
- Make sure someone has a cell phone if there is a need to call for help. If your older children are going alone, talk to them about situations that would warrant calling 911, for example a neck injury requiring immobilization of the spine.
– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System