10 sledding safety tips

It’s the first snowfall of the season, and the Norton Children’s Hospital emergency department has already treated several sledding injuries.

“Kids and adults can get seriously hurt — or even killed — if they’re not careful,” said Erika Janes with Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness.

If your family is hitting the hills, Janes offers the following advice:

Norton eCare video visit

If it’s not an emergency, but you want to talk to a doctor

  • Only use devices designed for sledding. Do not use the old-fashioned wooden sleds that have sharp blades for runners.
  • Do not sled with more riders than your device is made for.
  • Wear a helmet. Many sledding mishaps involve head injuries.
  • Dress in layers so you can remove one layer without risking frostbite. Several thin layers are warmer than one bulky layer.
  • Make sure you’re with someone who knows your name and can contact family in an emergency; parents should remain with their children.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before sledding. It impairs your ability to use good judgment and causes the body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Check your path for trees and other objects before starting your descent.
  • Don’t sled head-first or face backward, and make sure your vision isn’t obscured by a hat or other garment.
  • When climbing the hill, stay to the sides. Don’t walk in the sledding path.
  • Never let someone “tow” you with a motorized vehicle.


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