Sledding Safety Tips

  • Every year, thousands of youths and adults are injured sledding down hills in city parks, streets and resort areas.

  • Hospital emergency rooms treat more than 55,000 injuries related to sleds, toboggans, and inflated or plastic tubes and disks used in sledding each year.

  • Half of all emergency visits are for injuries to arms and legs; 17 percent, spine; 15 percent, head; and 11 percent facial injuries.


  • Sled only in designated areas free of fixed objects such as trees, posts and fences.
  • Children in these areas must be supervised by parents or adults.
  • All participants must sit in a forward-facing position, steering with their feet or a rope tied to the steering handles of the sled. No one should sled head-first down a slope.
  • Do not sled on slopes that end in a street, drop off, parking lot, river or pond.
  • Children under 12 years old should sled wearing a helmet.
  • Wear layers of clothing for protection from injuries.
  • Do not sit/slide on plastic sheets or other materials that can be pierced by objects on the ground.
  • Use a sled with runners and a steering mechanism, which is safer than toboggans or snow disks.
  • Sled in well-lighted areas when choosing evening activities.

Source: (The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Web site) contributed to this report.

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