Thousands of kids injured in sledding accidents — so be safe

Ginny Besson, 2, slides fast down a hill near Memorial Stadium Monday, Jan. 10, 2010, after several inches of snow fell in Lawrence. Ginny was with her twin sister Sidra and their mother, Erin Besson.

Ginny Besson, 2, slides fast down a hill near Memorial Stadium Monday, Jan. 10, 2010, after several inches of snow fell in Lawrence. Ginny was with her twin sister Sidra and their mother, Erin Besson. by Mike Yoder

Weee! Sledding!

Before heading outdoors, Safe Kids Kansas offers these safety reminders:

• Wear a helmet to prevent serious head injuries. When sledding, do not go down a hill head-first. Sit up, face forward, use a path that is free of trees, rocks and bare spots and make sure an adult is supervising.

• A good sledding hill does not lead to a street, a body of water, a fence or a crowded gathering place. In addition, remember to inspect sleds regularly for worn, damaged or loose parts that could break or snag at high speed.

• Never tether a sled to a moving vehicle. The results can be deadly.

• Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes. Make sure that long scarves are tucked in so they don’t get entangled.

• Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen with a rating of SPF 15 or higher.

• If children become distracted, irritable, or begin to hyperventilate, they may be suffering from hypothermia, or are too tired to participate safely in sledding. They should go indoors, rest and warm up.

“Remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you. So parents should always be aware of their own safety practices for their winter activities, too.”

— Cherie Sage, director for Safe Kids Kansas

Nationally, there were 24,500 estimated injuries of children, ages 14 and under, from sledding in 2007. There were 17,000 from skiing and snowboarding, and 1,500 from snowmobiles and other equipment.

For more information about winter sports safety, call 785-296-1223 or visit www.safekids.org.


MORE SAFETY TIPS

Lawrence Memorial Hospital employees offer advice on how to avoid injuries while shoveling snow and how to avoid frostbite and hypothermia. For the story, click here on WellCommons.

Tagged: children, Safe Kids Kansas, sledding

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