Sledding safety tips to keep in mind before hitting the snow

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jan 07, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As a blanket of snow covers Middle Tennessee, children are grabbing their sleds and hitting the hills, but it only takes seconds for a fun day in the snow to turn dangerous.

“This type of snow that we’ve seen in the last couple of days- we almost expect that kids are going to come in with injuries,” said Surgeon in Chief at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, Dr. Jeffrey Upperman. “I think if you’re going to put you’re kid on a sled go ahead and dust off that bike helmet and put them on a sled feet first with their bike helmet on.”

Dr. Upperman said the children's hospital sees everything from broken bones to concussions as a result of sledding accidents. “You really want them to have a safe, soft landing and you don’t want it to be dangerously steep”.

He said when sledding, pick an area away from roads, trees, or bodies of water, and not all sleds are made equal. “Those inner tubes and those other things that have no types of steering mechanisms- those can be very, very dangerous when smaller kids really don’t have the ability to fall off them correctly so I would stick to the regular type of sled that you can steer with you feet.”

Now as powdery snow begins to freeze over, that means less friction and less control.

“You can have areas where you have snow and you don’t see the ice underneath and a kid could think that they’re on stable ground and easily slip and fall and of course the sledding could get fun with more speed but also very, very dangerous.”

Another hazard- hooking sleds to motorized vehicles. Upperman said the only thing your child should be hooked on is your hand pulling them through the park.