Sledding is a fun and common winter activity for friends and family. However, it can lead to injuries if we are not careful. Below are a few reminders to help keep you safe before you and your little one’s head to the hills.
1. Sit while sledding
Sitting face forward is the safest way to sled. Going backwards or lying forward increases the risk of injuries as it limits your ability to steer and slow down or to avoid obstacles.
2. Check your surroundings
Check that your sledding hill is not too steep or uneven. Never sled in the woods or in an area with a lot of trees or poles.
Do not sled near roads or water (ie. ponds or streams).
Do not sled in the dark.
3. Dress warm
Layer yourself with appropriate winter attire and wear boots, gloves, and head coverings to prevent yourself from getting frostbites.
4. Gear check
Check that your sled is in good condition especially if it has been in storage for a year long. Make sure the straps/handles are secure and unbroken in case of needing to steer or slow down while riding.
Wearing a helmet can also protect the head from injury if a child falls off the sled or collides with an object or another individual.
5. Warm up
Sledding is more than just sitting on the sled, especially for the parents who have to climb the hills to return to the top while pulling a sled with a child. It is beneficial to stretch and prep your muscles before any sort of activity. Examples include high knees, arm swings or trunk twists.