So have you had enough snow yet? We’re forecasted to get another winter storm this Sunday, are you planning to snuggle up inside, or get outside with your family? Sledding has always been a huge favourite of kids and adults alike. Like many outdoor activities, there are some precautions that kids should take to ensure a fun and safe day on the hill!
Choosing the hill:
- Select a hill that is not too steep and has a long flat area at the bottom for you to glide to a stop.
- Avoid hillsides that end near a street or parking lot, near a pond, fences, trees, or other hazards.
- Make sure the hill is free of obstacles such as jumps, bumps, rocks, poles, or trees before you begin sledding.
- Choose hills that are snowy rather than icy. An icy slope makes for a hard landing if you fall off your sled.
- Sled during the daytime, when visibility is better. If you go sledding at night, make sure the hillside is well lit and all potential hazards are visible.
Dress for winter:
- Wear appropriate winter clothing — hats, gloves or mittens, snow pants, winter jacket, snow boots — that is waterproof and warm, and change into something dry if your clothes get wet. Bring extra mittens, as the hands tend to get the coldest and wettest, and mittens tend to be the first thing to get so wet that they become useless.
- Wear a helmet designed for winter sports. If you don’t have a ski or winter sports helmet, at least wear the helmet you use for biking or skateboarding.
The Right Sled:
Try to choose a sled that can be steered and has brakes. Avoid those that can’t be steered, such as tubes, saucers, toboggans, or crazy carpets and never use a sled substitute like a cardboard box. Good sleds are relatively cheap to buy and are well worth the extra money.
Follow These Simple Safety Rules
You are dressed warmly, helmet has been adjusted, sled in hand, and you found that perfect hill. You’re ready to go. Here are some more safety tips to ensure a safe experience:
- Assign an adult to be in charge in case of injury.
- Always sit face-forward on your sled. Never sled down a hill backwards or while standing, and don’t go down the hill face-first, as this greatly increases the risk of a head injury.
- Young kids (5 and under) should sled with an adult, and kids younger than 12 should be actively watched at all times.
- Go down the hill one at a time and with only one person per sled (except for adults with young children).
- Never build an artificial jump or obstacle on a sledding hill.
- Keep your arms and legs within the sled at all times, and if you fall off the sled, move out of the way. If you find yourself on a sled that won’t stop, roll off it and get away from it.
- Walk up the side of the hill and leave the middle open for other sledders.
- Never ride a sled that is being pulled by a moving vehicle.
We want to hear from you: Where is your favourite sledding hill?