For those of us that live in the South, snow days aren’t an every day occurence. We hardly ever get to do things like sled, build a snowman or have snow ball fights. That has not been true this year. With that in mind, consider some sledding safety tips that are probably so very obvious to those of you that get to do it all the time.
1. Wear a helmet. Yes, the same helmet your kids wear to ride bikes is perfect for sledding.
2. Watch your kids. An adult is needed to help them watch for cars, other kids and other sleds. You also need an adult to call the ambulance or parents if something happens. Never let kids under 12 sled without an adult present.
3. Feet first. It isn’t a good idea to go head first down a hill. This increases your chances of head injuries, and limits your ability to see, steer and manage your trip down the hill.
4. Choose your hill wisely, and teach your children that just because there is an awesome street to sled on, it isn’t always a safe one. Also, watch out for trees, rocks, poles, fences, grates, mailboxes and cars.
5. Don’t sled at night when drivers can not see you.
6. While it doesn’t happen down here very often, you can not walk, skate or sled on frozen lakes and ponds.
7. If you fall off the sled, move out of the way. We saw many people not paying attention to other sleds and they got hurt. And while we are on that subject, walk up the side of the hill or sidewalk to leave a path for others.
8. Roll off a sled that won’t stop, and obviously it isn’t a good idea to ride a sled being pulled by a moving vehicle. You just don’t have a lot of control with snow and ice. A moving vehicle adds speed and that increases your risk of injury.