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.

MarketStreet Lynnfield Outdoor Ice Skating

Outdoor Ice Skating Fun at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Lace up your skates and enjoy the beauty of the New England outdoors this winter season! From mid-November 2017 through February 2018, one of the most popular ice skating experiences in New England can be found at MarketStreet Lynnfield. The MarketStreet Rink offers public skating 7 days a week...

Kindness Rocks Garden at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Kindness Rocks Garden Art Exhibit at MarketStreet Lynnfield
MarketStreet Lynnfield welcomes the return of the Kindness Rocks Garden, an installation of painted rocks with inspirational messages that is meant to encourage random acts of kindness and spread positivity. Participants are invited to leave their own painted rocks, as well as take any that inspire...
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

MFA: Mark Rothko: Reflection

Museum of Fine Art Mark Rothko Exhibit
An immersive display of 11 masterpieces by Mark Rothko (1903–70), on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., invites visitors to contemplate the power of art to shape human experience. Opening on September 24, don’t miss “Mark Rothko: Reflection,” an immersive display of 11...
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

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 and Thursday 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, Brian...
10:00 am to 10:45 am

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

Dog Friendly Shops at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Dog Friendly Shops and Restaurants at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Animal lovers will be glad to learn MarketStreet Lynnfield has over 40 shops and restaurants that are dog-friendly. Use #PupsOfMarketStreet on social media when you are there with your four-legged friend to get a free treat at PolkaDog Bakery. Enjoy!
10:00 am to 9:00 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

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

Kids Minecraft Club at SFL

Kids Minecraft Club at Sawyer Free Library in Gloucester MA
Play Minecraft with other children grades 1-6 and the guidance of a teen volunteer and children's librarian. Learn new tricks from each other and explore and build in a world together. This group is for children in grades 1 and up. Please register for just one session per month.
3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Tuesday, December 12

MarketStreet Lynnfield Outdoor Ice Skating

Outdoor Ice Skating Fun at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Lace up your skates and enjoy the beauty of the New England outdoors this winter season! From mid-November 2017 through February 2018, one of the most popular ice skating experiences in New England can be found at MarketStreet Lynnfield. The MarketStreet Rink offers public skating 7 days a week...

Goddard School Touring Tuesday

Childcare, child care at Goddard School Middleton MA, Danvers MA, North Andover MA. infant, preschool, Pr
Touring Tuesday: Make a date to see Goddard School, Middleton, meet teachers and visit your child's next classroom! Infant, Toddler, Preschool,and Pre-Kindergarten programs. Please visit on Tuesday's to see why The Goddard School is "more than just a daycare".
9:00 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

Dog Friendly Shops at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Dog Friendly Shops and Restaurants at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Animal lovers will be glad to learn MarketStreet Lynnfield has over 40 shops and restaurants that are dog-friendly. Use #PupsOfMarketStreet on social media when you are there with your four-legged friend to get a free treat at PolkaDog Bakery. Enjoy!
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Kindness Rocks Garden at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Kindness Rocks Garden Art Exhibit at MarketStreet Lynnfield
MarketStreet Lynnfield welcomes the return of the Kindness Rocks Garden, an installation of painted rocks with inspirational messages that is meant to encourage random acts of kindness and spread positivity. Participants are invited to leave their own painted rocks, as well as take any that inspire...
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

MFA: Mark Rothko: Reflection

Museum of Fine Art Mark Rothko Exhibit
An immersive display of 11 masterpieces by Mark Rothko (1903–70), on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., invites visitors to contemplate the power of art to shape human experience. Opening on September 24, don’t miss “Mark Rothko: Reflection,” an immersive display of 11...
10:00 am to 4:00 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

XYZT: A Journey in 4 Dimensions at PEM - Salem

Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA. Family friendly arts and culture North of Boston
Journey through nature and activate the senses as you explore mathematical paradoxes, typographical illusions and metaphors in motion in our new digital exhibition, XYZT: A Journey in 4 Dimensions, opening Saturday, October 14, 2017.
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

Holiday Children's Party at Castle Hill

Kids will meet Santa at the Crane Estate in Ipswich MA!
In celebration of the holidays, we’re hosting a children’s Christmas party with Santa. Families will enjoy interactive songs and music from children’s entertainer Jeannie Mack, a yummy edible craft, holiday refreshments, and, of course, a visit with Santa, who will have a small gift for every child...
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm