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How Safe Is Sledding?

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It sends thousands to the hospital each year ... here's how to keep your kids safe.

Young girl sledding

We have been reading about many sledding accidents in the news lately.

• 19-year-old Jessica Wantz died when an inflatable tube on which she was riding hit a building.

• 11-year-old Chance Nash died after he hit a log or a post while sledding on New Year's Eve.

• 9-year-old Kyra Britton is in the pediatric intensive care unit after she steered off the road and into a ditch while sledding.

Our hearts go out to the families of the children who were injured or lost their lives while sledding.

There are 74,000 sledding, snow tubing, and toboggan-related injuries treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctors' offices, and clinics per year in the U.S. How do we keep our kids safe?

Here are sledding safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

• Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
• Children should be supervised while sledding.
• Keep young children separated from older children.
• Sledding feet-first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
• Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
• Use steerable sleds, not snow disks or inner tubes.
• Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
• Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow, not ice, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
• Avoid sledding in crowded areas.

How do you keep your kids safe while sledding? Share your tips below.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous January 17, 2010, 9:20 PM

Then DON’T do it!

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