Sledding Safety Tips and Tricks

Sled Safety reduces the risk of injury and allows everybody to make it home safe

Sledding is a great way to kill an afternoon on snowy days, have some fun with the family and get some outdoor winter exercise. I loved sledding as a kid, but now when I see 'B' pretending to have 'accidents' on the sledding hill we made in our front yard, I cringe to think of the possible dangers involved in sledding. Wiping out is fun, until somebody gets hurt.

According to a study published in the September 2010 issue of the journal Pediatrics, over 20,000 children and teen sledders visit the emergency room annually between 1997 and 2007. These injuries include scrapes, bruises and bumps, but 26% are fractures and 33% are head injuries, with many of those being serious brain trauma.

Today's sleds are designed to give your child the rush of flying down that hill at top speed. Some have great control and are properly designed to minimize injuries, but inner tubes and plastic saucers are based on 'pray as you go' technology. To keep it safe one general rule to follow is 'Be Aware of Your Surroundings'. Most injuries occur from high speed impact with an immovable object or another person/sledder, so its best to find a sledding hill that's wide open and has little or no obstructions.

Follow these sledding safety tips and tricks, and everybody will be sure to have a great time and make it home safe and sound:

  • Children should be supervised by a responsible adult while sledding.
    • Make sure someone has a cell phone to call 911 in case of an emergency.
    • Kids under 5 should have an adult sled with them.
    • Use your supervising time to teach proper sledding techniques
  • Protect your head!
    • Wear a helmet (you can even use a bike helmet)
    • Sledding head first greatly increases the risk of head injury.
    • Sit or lay on the sled with your feet facing downhill, your legs are better designed at absorbing impact than your head.
  • Wear eye protection.
    • Ski Goggles are designed to stay on your head when you fall
    • Sunglasses should be secured using a strap that fits snugly around the back of your head.
  • Injuries are serious
    • Take all injuries seriously until you can figure out the extent of the damage.
    • If somebody is seriously hurt or unconscious, especially with a head injury, call 911 immediately.
    • If the person cannot move on their own, minimize moving them until aid arrives.
      • Try to keep them warm.
      • Stay with them until help arrives.
    • Try to keep people a with head injury conscious.
    • Bring a first aid kit!
  • Make sure all participants know how to stop their sled.
    • Rolling off of a moving sled is the best way to dismount in an emergency.
  • Bring a shovel.
    • A shovel will help you pad some obstructions by shoveling loose snow in mounds around them.
    • If somebody is accidentally buried in snow, you'll have an efficient way of digging them out.
  • Proper dress makes the differenceThis person is creating a sledding hazard because their clothes blend into the sledding hill.
    • dress to stay dry, in layers under a water proof shell
    • thick gloves or mittens are crucial for keeping hands warm.
    • protective boots keep feet warm and help absorb impact.
    • Avoid scarves and othe loose clothing that could serious injury if they get snagged.
    • brightly colored clothes makes it easier for other people on the sledding hill to see you (avoid wearing white).
  • Have the right frame of mind
    • Don't sled while tired, sick, medicated or otherwise distracted
  • Scout the sledding area.
    • Choose a hill with a manageable slope and a long path.
    • Make Sure you can see your surroundings clearly.
      • Don't sled after dark or when visibility is bad due to fog, rain or snow.
    • Be aware of "No Trespassing" signs
      • It's always right to respect somebody else's property
    • Be aware that snow banks may hold hidden dangers like rocks or stumps or hydrants
    • Make sure the sledding path does not cross traffic or roadways
    • Assess the threat of hazardous obstacles like:
      • walls
      • large trees
      • trash bins
      • fences
      • rocks
      • picnic tables
      • telephone poles.
    • Make sure there is enough room to come to a stop!
    • How 'Hard' is the hill? Is the snow loose enough to absorb some impact?
      • check for ice or bare spots, and make a mental note of the spots to avoid
      • shovel loose snow on harder areas to soften the impact of falling on them.
    • Avoid sledding near bodies of water, like brooks, large puddles and ponds
      • Sledding time is over for the person who gets drenched!
  • Proper equipment handling
    • An overloaded sled is dangerous, if it's made for one person, use it that way.
    • Don't stand on a sled.
    • Don't use a broken sled
      • A cracked piece of plastic or a loose piece of metal can cause a lot damage of on a moving sled!
  • The sled should match the slope.
    • Inner tubes, saucers and snow disks are fast, not easy to handle and are great on a wide slope with a lot of room.
    • Straighter toboggan & rail type sleds are more maneuverable and are better for tighter trails where you need more control.
  • Be safe, polite and courteous
    • Wait your turn.
    • Show respect for younger children who may be near you.
    • Don't cut off others on the hill.
    • A moving sled has the right of way, stay out of their way.
    • Don't try to sled into another sledder or person.

The Big Dog Show A Dale Rogers Exhibit

Big Dog Show is a travelling large-scale public art exhibit
The Big Dog Show is a travelling large-scale public art exhibit created by award winning sculptor, Dale Rogers, and consists of twenty 8-foot-hi

Robots and Beyond: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT

Minsky Arm, created by Marvin Minsky on display at the MIT Museum!
Robots and Beyond shares the results of decades of Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation at MIT. Explore the ideas that shaped AI and the birth of robotics, fields that are synonymous with research at MIT.
Where: MIT Museum

Boston Public Market - Boston

Boston Public Market - Boston
The Boston Public Market is an indoor, year-round marketplace featuring 35 New England artisans and food producers housed under one roof offering fresh foods, prepared meals, crafts, and specialty items. Residents and visitors alike can find seasonal, locally sourced food from Massachusetts and New...
8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Dragonflies in the Park

Kids will explore and learn about the dragonflies at Halibut Point State Park.
Explore the world of odonata, one of the oldest life forms on Earth. This is a great kids’ program and most appropriate for families. Best for kids 8 and up. Meet at the Parking Lot Kiosk
9:00 am to 10:00 am

MFA: Casanova’s Europe: Art, Pleasure, and Power in the 18th Century

Museum exhibits at Museum of Fine Arts Boston MA
In the dynamic world of 18th-century Europe, people, ideas, and artistic styles crossed national boundaries. Salons rich with opulent paintings and furnishings hummed with intellectual exchange, gossip, and flirtation. To a person like Giacomo Casanova—smart and confident, boastful and scheming—the...
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Public Skate and Learn to Skate at Peabody Skating Rink

Learn to Skate with the Peabody Skating Club at Peabody Skating Rink
The McVann-O'Keefe Skating Rink in Peabody is open for Public Skating weekdays from 10-11:45 am, Saturday's at 2 pm, and Sundays at 2:10 pm. Call today to ask about the Learn to Skate program at with the Peabody Skating Club. The ice is perfect. The Halloween and Christmas parties are a blast, and...
10:00 am to 11:45 am

Sing & Dance with the Music Man - Saturday

Sing & Dance with the Music Man Brian Doser in Hamilton Visit Massachusetts
Come join the fun at Community House Of Hamilton & Wenham Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. for 30 - 45 minutes of great music with Brian Doser! Sing and dance with the Music Man during a family concert, featuring familiar and original tunes, performed by local dad and musician...
10:00 am to 10:45 am

Sing & Dance with the Music Man

Sing & Dance with the Music Man Brian Doser in Hamilton visit Massachusetts
Come join the fun at Community House Of Hamilton & Wenham Monday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. for 30 - 45 minutes of great music with Brian Doser! Sing and dance with the Music Man during a family concert, featuring familiar and original tunes, performed by local dad and musician...
10:00 am to 10:45 am

Arts and Crafts for Little Ones with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh

Art Classes for children with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh
Certified Montessori teacher, artist and local mother, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh will guide your young artist in an exploration of color, shape, and texture. Using a variety of media, your child will be free to express their in a beautiful space while socializing and engaging in cooperative play.
10:15 am to 11:15 am

Monday Knitting Group

Hamilton Wenham Knitting Group for All ages
The knitting group at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library welcomes experienced & beginning knitters and crochet folk.
12:00 pm to 2:30 pm

AJH: Breastfeeding Class - Haverhill

Breastfeeding technique and support class at Anna Jaques Hospital. Best Hospital for Families
Breastfeeding Classes are taught by Anna Jaques Hospital Lactation Consultants for mothers and their support person(s) to gain the knowledge and tools to help you successfully breast your baby.
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Beverly Farmers' Market

Get fresh local produce at the Beverly Farmers Market in downtown Beverly Massac
This is a great farmers' market connected to a large grassy park in downtown Beverly.  There is always music and a lot of shade.  The market offers fresh local produce as well as cheese, meat, eggs, bread, dog treats, jewelry, and books.  The kids have a blast playing tag, meeting new friends, and...
Where: Odell Park
3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Magnolia Farmers Market

Come enjoy the Magnolia Farmers Market on Lexington Ave every Monday!
Come to the Farmer's Market in Magnolia Village! Find fresh local produce and other locally produced foods every Monday on Lexington Avenue in Magnolia. Joe Wilkins plays the music you love to hear and you enjoy the labor of love of our local farmers and artisans.
4:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Kay Ellis Scholarship Fundraiser

The Kay Ellis Scholarship Fundraiser Sail and Dock Party August 20, 2018
Come to the Kay Ellis Memorial Fundraiser for a night of fun in Gloucester! Enjoy a sunset schooner cruise aboard the Lannon or Ardelle, followed by dinner, dessert, local music, and a pirate raffle. In 2017, $9,000 was awarded to students studying Hospitality and Tourism. Join us to help support...
6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Tuesday, August 21

The Big Dog Show A Dale Rogers Exhibit

Big Dog Show is a travelling large-scale public art exhibit
The Big Dog Show is a travelling large-scale public art exhibit created by award winning sculptor, Dale Rogers, and consists of twenty 8-foot-hi

Robots and Beyond: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT

Minsky Arm, created by Marvin Minsky on display at the MIT Museum!
Robots and Beyond shares the results of decades of Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation at MIT. Explore the ideas that shaped AI and the birth of robotics, fields that are synonymous with research at MIT.
Where: MIT Museum

Boston Public Market - Boston

Boston Public Market - Boston
The Boston Public Market is an indoor, year-round marketplace featuring 35 New England artisans and food producers housed under one roof offering fresh foods, prepared meals, crafts, and specialty items. Residents and visitors alike can find seasonal, locally sourced food from Massachusetts and New...
8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Public Skate and Learn to Skate at Peabody Skating Rink

Learn to Skate with the Peabody Skating Club at Peabody Skating Rink
The McVann-O'Keefe Skating Rink in Peabody is open for Public Skating weekdays from 10-11:45 am, Saturday's at 2 pm, and Sundays at 2:10 pm. Call today to ask about the Learn to Skate program at with the Peabody Skating Club. The ice is perfect. The Halloween and Christmas parties are a blast, and...
10:00 am to 11:45 am

PEM: Sally Mann A Thousand Crossings - Salem

Events in Salem MA at Peabody Essex Museum
Co-organized with the National Gallery of Art, this exhibition features some 115 photographs - many of which have not been exhibitied or published previously - that offer a sweeping overview of the distinguished photograhier's articstic achievement, vision and drive.    
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

PEM Explores Innovations Inspired by Nature - Salem

Peabody Essex Museum Wild Designs Exhibit
This summer discover how creative innovators are turning to nature for new ideas and smart solutions to human challenges.  Wild Designs, on exhibit at Peabody Essex Museum, features works by artists and other creatives who are looking to nature and living systems for new ideas and creative...
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

AJH: Mother & Baby Support Class - Newburyport

Mother & Baby Support Groups at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport MA
Mother & Baby Groups Anna Jaques is pleased to offer free group classes for all mothers in our community to provide support, encouragement and advice on parenthood and answer questions that arise after going home. Mother & Baby Groups are facilitated by a Lactation Consultant/Registered...
10:00 am to 11:45 am

MFA: Casanova’s Europe: Art, Pleasure, and Power in the 18th Century

Museum exhibits at Museum of Fine Arts Boston MA
In the dynamic world of 18th-century Europe, people, ideas, and artistic styles crossed national boundaries. Salons rich with opulent paintings and furnishings hummed with intellectual exchange, gossip, and flirtation. To a person like Giacomo Casanova—smart and confident, boastful and scheming—the...
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Arts and Crafts for Little Ones with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh

Art Classes for children with Colleen Apostolos-Marsh
Certified Montessori teacher, artist and local mother, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh will guide your young artist in an exploration of color, shape, and texture. Using a variety of media, your child will be free to express their in a beautiful space while socializing and engaging in cooperative play.
10:15 am to 11:15 am

Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays

Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays includes great dininglive music, dancing & extended shopping hours for shopping Downtown Ipswich Tuesday evenings!
Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays includes great dininglive music, dancing on the Riverwalk  & extended shopping hours for shopping Downtown Ipswich Tuesday evenings!  Each week will feature live entertainment on the Riverwalk, making for a fun evening out for the whole family!
12:00 pm