Sled Injury Prevention
Injury prevention is better than needing a plastic surgeon in the emergency room.
FIND A SAFE SPOT
A good hill has a wide gentle slope. Steep hills cause high speed and you could lose control. The bottom should end in a long flat area so the sled has enough room to stop. Keep away from roads, parking lots, and farm machines. Drivers do not see sleds that are close to the ground. When they see you, stopping on slippery surfaces is hard.
LOOK FOR HIDDEN DANGERS
Check for buried holes, roots, tree stumps, fences, and barb wire. Bare ground without snow stops sleds suddenly.
Trees are hard and do not give way. Hitting trees can cause severe injury. Pick an area free of trees.
TIME OF DAY
Bright daylight is the safest. Dusk is the most dangerous.
KEEP AWAY FROM FROZEN WATER
The ice on ponds, streams, and lakes may not be strong enough. You might fall through.
CLOTHING AND COLD
Wear bright easy to spot clothing. You should be comfortable. Clothing must be warm. Dress in layers. Loose clothing traps air and is warmer. Wet clothing is dangerous. It does not protect you and your skin can freeze. Do not let exposed skin get numb, it can freeze. Take breaks to go inside and warm up. Cold is more dangerous for the very old and young. Keep an extra blanket in the car if traveling.
WEAR A HELMET
There are less head injuries with people who wear helmets.
MORE THAN ONE ON THE HILL
Running into someone with a sled can cause serious injury. Move out of the way quickly once you reach the bottom of the hill. Walk up the side of the hill out of traffic. Do not start down the hill until the people in front are safely out of the way.
PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES
How will you get help if there is an accident? Sledding by yourself can be dangerous. Friends can get help.
There are fewer accidents when adults supervise sledding.