10 Rules for Safe Sledding

Lifespan Blog Team

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, nearly 20,000 children 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 keeping your children safe:

  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.