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Sledding Safety Tips

Adie Bush/Jupiter

If you’re like me, you were dreaming of a white Christmas. Well, I got my wish one day late…in the form of a massive blizzard that dumped more than 20 inches on my New Jersey neighborhood.

Adults may begrudge nightmarish commutes and backbreaking snow shoveling, but for kids, those great white peaks are the ultimate winter wonderland. Unfortunately, more than 20,000 are treated for sledding-related injuries each year.

To help make sure your kid stays safe while sledding, Lara McKenzie, Ph.D., principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus shares some important safety tips:

  • Make sure the hill—and the space at the bottom of it—is completely clear obstacles like trees, fences, utility poles, and other sled riders.
  • Only one person per sled—unless the one you're riding on was specifically designed for two.
  • Take turns riding down the hill to avoid collisions.
  • Never hook up a sled to a vehicle. "It was pretty surprising how many kids were out on sleds being pulled by a snowmobile or ATV," McKenzie said of the sledding study. "And that scenario accounted for a lot of cases in the emergency room."

Click here for more sledding tips and must-know winter health information.