Injury Research and Policy Sledding Safety Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Sledding Safety

Sledding and tubing can be a great way to enjoy winter weather. The joy of speeding down the hill can make it easy to forget that these activities can also lead to injuries. Taking a few safety measures can help keep you and your kids safe on the hills this winter.

Sledding Injury Facts

  • Injuries often occur when the sled hits a stationary object or when the child falls off the sled.
  • Bruises, cuts and broken bones are the most common injuries.
  • Head and neck injuries are common among children 6 years old and younger.

Getting Ready to Sled

  • Make sure children are dressed warmly and that they are wearing gloves and boots.
  • Always wear a helmet to prevent head injuries. Multi-sport and bicycle helmets are good options.
  • Sleds that can be steered are safer than flat sheets, snow discs and toboggans.

Sledding Tips

  • Teach children to have an adult with them when they go sledding.
  • Avoid sledding in areas with trees, fences and light poles or on rocky hills.
  • Always go down the hill feet first.
  • Learn how to stop and turn the sled by using your feet.
  • Have only the recommended number of passengers on a sled at one time.
  • Do not sled in the street or on a highway.
  • Never ride a sled being pulled by a car, ATV, snowmobile or other motorized vehicle.
  • Avoid sledding on driveways, hills, or slopes that end in a street, drop off, parking lot, river or pond.
  • Because they are hard to steer, the best place to use a tube is in a tubing park – often found at ski resorts.
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