Children on toboggan

Sledding Safety Tips (PHOTO)

Children on toboggan

Now that the snownstorm has officially passed through, it’s time to hit the hills, but before you do it’s important to keep a few safety tips in mind to avoid a trip to the hospital.

According to a news release, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) end up responding to injured sledders, and the injuries range from minor to very serious.

To help prevent sledding related injuries, Montgomery County has released the following tips for residents:

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.
Maureen Chowdhury

About Maureen Chowdhury

Maureen Chowdhury is a multimedia journalist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at mchowdhury@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @MediaMaureen. Maureen authors the blog Sound Check on MyMCMedia.

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