Here are some tips on how adults and children of all ages can avoid sledding injuries:
- Choose designated sledding hills with a gentle slope and long run-off area; avoid steep hills
- Avoid ice-covered hills
- Stay away from roads, lakes, rivers, heavily wooded areas, parking lots, etc.
- Make sure the sliding area is free of obstacles
- Be aware of others sliding on the hill
- Dress appropriately – layers are best because they can also help “cushion” any falls and wear a helmet
- Don’t pile too many people on one sled
- Always ride on the sled sitting and facing forward
- Avoid jumps or piles of snow that can cause a sled to become airborne
- Children under 12 should be supervised by an adult
- Children under 5 should be accompanied by an adult on the sled
- Don’t “drink and sled”
I'm pretty sure I've broken every rule on this list- if you haven't almost killed yourself on a sled at some point in your life, then you're not a true Minnesotan.
But really- children under 12 must be supervised by an adult? How much more over-protective can you be?