The Northeast lucked out and missed being hit by a blizzard of historical proportions. Some areas of the Northeast were not as fortune, but most of the area lucked out and were spared being buried by 2+ feet of snow.
Most schools in our area are closed today. Since we were expected “snowmageddon” to hit us most schools and many businesses were closed to protect their safety.
Since most kids are home from school today they are looking for something fun to to do such as build snowmen, have snowball flights and of course go sledding.
I used to love to go sledding with my cousins during the winter. We had wooden Flexible Fliers. They were awesome! I miss them. I’ts on my “Bucket List” to get another one, just for sentimental reasons.
Back then we didn’t use our heads. We would slide down the hill in front of one of our neighbor’s homes and slide across the street to the other side of the road. It wasn’t a busy street at all, plus it as a dead end. None the less that was not very smart of us to do that. In hindsight I realize how lucky we were. As a mom I would never let my kids do that.
Over the years we’ve had fatalities as a result of sledding accidents. Just a few years ago a young girl was sledding in a local golf course and hit a tree and died on impact. Several years earlier a young boy slide across a parking lot and fell off his sled and hit his head. He was airlifted tot he hospital where he later died from his injuries.
Sledding is A LOT of fun and its a great activity to do during the winter months. Sledding can also result in serious injuries and fatalities.
Here is a great article and tips from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center here in New York. It’s a fantastic facility. Our son was at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for the first 33 days of his life in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). There is even a movie based on this children’s hospital and how it came to be called Louder Than Words.
If you have a child or grandchild, or have any children or teens in your life, I would recommend taking heed to these important sledding safety tips.
Sledding is a fun wintertime activity for families, however those exhilarating slides down neighborhood hills send more than 20,000 children to emergency rooms each year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics*. With winter in full swing, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center – the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County- is reminding parents, caregivers and snow-goers of all ages that sledding injuries are preventable, if the right steps are taken.
“During a typical winter season, our pediatric emergency department cares for dozens of children injured while sledding, snow tubing and tobogganing,” explained Darshan Patel, M.D., Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. “These injuries range from severe bruises and broken bones to facial injuries, fractured skulls and brain trauma.”
“Once sleds and snow tubes start moving down a hill they pick up speed very quickly and can be very hard for a child control. As a result, children sustain injuries when their sleds strike trees, fences and other sledders,” remarked Geralyn Flaherty, R.N. Assistant Nurse Manager of the Westchester Medical Center Emergency Department. “Often, the severity of the injury is compounded by the weight of a parent riding on the sled with the child. “The common thread among all of these injuries? They’re preventable,” expressed Flaherty.
Originally offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center shares the following tips for safe sledding:
- Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
- Children should be supervised while sledding.
- Keep young children separated from older children.
- Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
- Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
- Use steerable sleds, not snow disks or inner tubes. Avoid sledding in crowded areas.
- Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
- Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow not ice, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
Following these and other safety measures will help ensure a memorable family experience on the snow. “Families should end their sledding day with warm blankets and cups of hot chocolate, not a visit to our Pediatric Emergency Department,” concluded Dr. Patel.
They even prepared a great infographic with more important information. To view it please click on the text link below the image.
Sledding is A LOT of fun, and it’s a great family activity. It can also be a good way to sneak some exercise in too (walking up the hills is a good workout). Just use common sense to avoid injuries – or worse.
As a parent I love the idea of using a helmet. My kids are teens and haven’t gone sledding in years. If they were still children I would make them wear helmets. That makes perfect sense.
Have fun and stay safe!
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted with permission for the benefit of my site readers.