Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sledding 101 - Avoid Landing in the ER

After any kind of significant snow storm, MCFRS personnel are inevitably called to assist injured sledders. The injuries have ranged from minor to very serious. Please take a moment to review the below tips before you and/or your loved ones go sledding over the next few days.

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.
  • Select a hill that is not too steep and has a long flat area at the bottom for your kids to glide to a stop.
  • Avoid hillsides that end near a street or parking lot. Make sure the bottom of the slope is far from streets, traffic and frozen or partially frozen ponds, lakes or creeks.
  • Avoid hillsides that end near ponds, trees, fences, or other hazards.
  • Make sure the hill is free of obstacles such as jumps, bumps, rocks, poles, or trees before your kids   begin sledding.
  • Choose hills that are snowy rather than icy. Icy slopes make for hard landings if kids fall off a sled.

The Sled

  • Use equipment that is sturdy and safely constructed. Avoid equipment with sharp and jagged edges.
  • Look for energy-absorbing pads on sled seats.
  • Examine handholds on sleds to be sure they are secure.
  • Ensure sleds and toboggans have steering devices that work easily and don't jam.
  • Only sled feet first while sitting up. Sledding head first can increase the risk of head injury.
  • Never ride in a sled pulled by a motorized vehicle and always sled during the daytime, when visibility is better.

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