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. Properly fitted snow sport helmets, multi-sport, and bicycle helmets are good options.
- Sleds that can be steered and have braking features may allow for more control than flat sheets, snow discs, tubes and toboggans.
- Make sure to follow manufacturer guidelines for the number of passengers a sled can safely hold.
- 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.
- 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.
Additional Sledding Safety Resources
- Sledding-related injuries among children and adults treated in US emergency departments from 2008 to 2017
- PubMed Abstract - December 2020
- Press Release - December 2020
- Pediatric and adolescent sledding-related injuries treated in US emergency departments in 1997-2007
- PubMed Abstract - August 2010
- Press Release - August 2010