Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful
Here's some sledding safety advice
SUNDAY, Dec. 29, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Many children will find sleds under the Christmas tree this year, but while sledding can be a fun thrill, it can also be dangerous.
More than 34,000 Americans needed emergency room treatment last year as a result of sledding injuries, and there's been a 30 percent increase in sledding injuries in the United States since 1990, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Children aged 5 to 9 are most susceptible. That's because they lack experience with speed and have underdeveloped coordination.
Sledding on a street is five times more likely to result in an injury than sledding in a yard or park. Most sledding accidents happen on weekends in January and February, and people who sled in a headfirst position are most vulnerable to injury.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following safety advice:
- Use sleds that you can steer rather than snow discs.
- Sled only where the bottom of the hill is away from motor traffic.
- Watch out for trees and snow-covered hazards.
- Don't ride flat. Sit up and face forward.
- Wear a bike helmet and mouth guard.
- Climb back up the hill on the side of the sled run, not in the middle where you may be hit by another sled.
- Don't ride sleds onto water hazards, such as rivers or streams with thin ice.
Here's where you can find out more about sledding safety.