Safety Tips: Sledding

Safety Tips: Sledding

Lea este articulo en EspanolSledding with friends and family members has been a winter ritual for generations. Anywhere there's snow and a hillside, you can find people sledding. You probably went sledding as a kid, and you'll want to share this fun activity with your kids.

But sledding can also cause injuries, some of them pretty serious. To keep your kids safe while sledding, make sure they follow these safety tips.

Why Sledding Safety Is Important

Though it may seem like harmless fun, sledding injuries send thousands of kids and teens to hospital emergency rooms each year. Head injuries, which can be very serious and even deadly, are the most common sledding injuries seen in emergency rooms. Sledders are most likely to be injured in collisions with objects or people.

Choose the Right Sledding Hill

When hills get coated with snow, they may all look like great locations for sledding, but be very careful when choosing a location for your kids to sled. Not all hills are safe.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when it comes to picking the right spot to sled:

Dress for Cold Temperatures

Since sledding involves playing in the snow outdoors during wintertime, chances are it's going to be cold. Frostbite and even hypothermia are potential dangers. Make sure your kids wear the proper clothing to stay warm and safe.

Get the Right Kind of Sled

The best sleds can be steered by their riders and have brakes to slow them down. Avoid sleds that can't be steered, such as tubes, saucers, or toboggans, and never use a sled substitute like a lunch tray or cardboard box. Good sleds are relatively cheap to buy and are well worth the extra money.

Some Simple Safety Rules

Your kids have the right kind of sled and properly fitted helmets, they're dressed warmly, and you've picked out a perfect hill for them to sled down. They're ready to go.

There are still a few rules they need to follow, though, to keep themselves and other sledders safe:

While it's unlikely that kids will be injured while sledding, the possibility definitely exists. Just take a little extra time to dress them properly and make sure they follow these safety guidelines. They'll have a better time, and you'll rest easier knowing you have less to worry about. Sledding is supposed to be fun; keep your kids safe and warm, and you'll ensure that it is!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2014





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationKids Sports Network This organization promotes quality nonschool sports and fitness for children between the ages of 3 and 19 through coaches, education, special events and activities, public awareness, and regular networking with youth sports organizations and agencies.
Web SiteSnowLink SnowLink has news, product information, and tips about alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
OrganizationNational Youth Sports Safety Foundation This organization offers a newsletter with helpful safety tips and facts about sports injury prevention.
OrganizationNational Athletic Trainers' Association This site contains information on certified athletic trainers and tips on preventing and healing sports injuries.
Related Articles
Safety Tips: Hockey As fun as it is, ice hockey carries a very real risk of injury. To find out how to stay as safe as possible, follow these tips.
Frostbite You can help prevent frostbite in cold weather by dressing kids in layers, making sure they come indoors at regular intervals, and watching for frostnip, frostbite's early warning signal.
Safety Tips: Sledding Sledding is a lot of fun, but can also cause injuries, some of them pretty serious. To keep yourself safe while sledding, follow these safety tips.
Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries Sports injuries often can be prevented. Find out how in this article for kids.
How to Be Safe in Ice and Snow Winter is a fun time of year. But while you're out having fun, you have to know how to be safe. Check out our article for kids to learn how to stay safe in snow and cold weather.
Keeping Your Cool in the Cold and Snow Read this article to find out how to protect yourself from cold-weather hazards - from frostbite to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Winter Sports: Sledding, Skiing, Snowboarding, Skating You'll have more fun if you stay safe in the cold and snow. Find out how in this article for kids.
Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety In ice and snow, accidents can happen easily. Find out how to keep your family safe - and fit - while the weather is chilly.
Cold-Weather Sports Don't let the chill of winter turn you into a couch potato! Read this article to learn about some cool winter sports.
Cold-Weather Sports and Your Family Tired of being cooped up in the house because of the cold weather? Get out in the snow and try a new sport with your family this winter!
Safety Tips: Skiing Skiing is fun but also has some very real dangers. Make sure your kids follow these safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes.
Safety Tips: Skiing There's a lot to love about skiing, but it can also present some very real dangers, from frostbite and sunburn to blown knees and head injuries. Follow these tips to stay safe on the slopes.
Safety Tips: Hockey As fun as it is, ice hockey carries a very real risk of injury. To keep your kids as safe as possible, follow these tips.
Safety Tips: Snowboarding Snowboarding is a great way for kids to have fun and get exercise, but it has some very real dangers. These safety tips can help keep your kids safe on the slopes.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter