Sledding is a great way to spend a crisp winter morning or afternoon. It’s an exhilarating outdoor activity for all ages. Before you jump in your sled, consider the following sledding safety tips to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe experience:
Dress appropriately for the weather.
Dress in layers. Layers allow you to accommodate fluctuating weather conditions and body temperatures. Also, consider wearing sunscreen, hat, gloves, hand warmers and boot warmers. More on gearing up for the outdoors.
Use proper equipment.
Make sure that your sled is in good condition. Sleds that have steering capabilities are often safer than discs or flat sheets. Do not sled on plastic sheets that can be pierced by sharp objects. Children under 12 should also wear a helmet.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Sled on hills that do not have obstacles nearby, such as fences, telephone poles, picnic tables or trees. Avoid bumps, jumps, bare spots and holes that might cause collisions. Do not sled on or near frozen bodies of water or roads. Avoid sledding when it is dark or when there is low visibility due to weather conditions. Sitting forward and upright on your sled is safest to avoid colliding into others.
Be prepared for emergencies.
Head to the sledding hill with a friend or group. If you do head out alone, be sure to let someone know where you are and when you expect to return. Children should always be supervised by an adult. Before allowing children to sled independently, teach them how to roll off a sled that is out of control. Also, consider bringing a backpack with food, water, extra clothing, cell phone and first aid kit.