Winter arrived in full force to welcome in 2021 with snow blanketing the ground. And with snow, along came the excitement for sledding. While sledding can be a fun winter activity for children and adults alike, it is important to take some precautions to keep everyone safe.
1. Sled during daytime hours. Avoid sledding at night or in poorly lit areas to reduce the chance of injury.
2. Dress warmly. Hats, mittens/gloves and appropriate winter gear are advised to prevent hypothermia. Children are at a greater risk of hypothermia than adults.
3. Consider wearing a helmet. Yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends considering a helmet, just as children do for skiing. Sledding can lead to concussions and other serious injuries.
4. Avoid sledding near trees, bodies of water and fences.
5. Young children should be supervised at all times.
6. Teach children how to roll off of a sled that will not come to a stop on its own.
7. Children should ride upright with feet first and in the forward -facing position. This will decrease the likelihood of a head injury.
8. Avoid pulling children on sleds behind vehicles.
Have fun and enjoy the snow this winter!
Dr. Jennifer Teegarden