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Sledding Safety

During times of snow and ice, it’s not unusual for WakeMed’s Emergency Departments to see a steady stream of injuries in both children and adults from sledding accidents. Unfortunately, several of these injuries are quite serious and may be life threatening.

Sledding is usually fun, but it can be very dangerous. Ensure that your snow day does not end in a trip to the Emergency Department by choosing a hill that has a manageable slope with a long steep path that is free of jumps, bumps, and obstacles like trees, fences or mailboxes. And, follow these rules:

10 Tips for Safer Sledding in the Winter

#1 – Sit face-forward (never head-first or standing).

#2 – Go down the hill one at a time (one person per sled).

#3 – Keep arms and legs within the sled.

#4 – If you fall off the sled, move out of the way out of the sledding path.

#5 – Walk up the side of the hill, leaving a sled path for others.

#6 – Roll off of a sled that won’t stop.

#7 – NEVER ride a sled that is being pulled by a moving vehicle.

#8 – Avoid inflatable tubes or sled substitutes such as trays and cardboard boxes that are difficult to steer, stop and secure.

# 9 – Wear a properly fitting helmet designed for higher impact. (A bicycle helmet is a good choice).

#10 – Supervise your children as they sled. Children under 12 should be actively watched. Children under 5 should have an adult sled with them.

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