While snow-covered grounds appear fluffy and powdery, don’t let its soft look fool you. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 160,000 sledding and tubing-related injuries occur annually. the most common injury seen from these accidents is head injuries. Other findings included:
- Kids 14 and under are most at risk for injury
- 15,000 of these injuries required emergency room visits
- Sleds can reach speeds of 25 mph
So, before your kids hit the slopes or the local park, be sure to review the following tips.
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- Skate in the same direction as the crowd
- Avoid darting across the ice
- Never skate alone
- Not chew gum or eat candy while skating.
- Have your child wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, especially while learning to skate.
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- Children less than 5 years of age should not sled alone.
- Keep young children separated from older children.
- Sled feet first or sitting up instead of lying down head-first to prevent head injuries.
- Consider having your child wear a (hockey not bicycle) helmet while sledding.
- Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters. The steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
- Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, covered in snow, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
- Avoid sledding in crowded areas.
Snow Skiing and Snowboarding
- Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children.
- Young children should always have adult supervision. Older children’s need for supervision depends on their maturity and skill. If older children are not with an adult, they should always have a friend with them.
- All skiers and snowboarders should wear a fitted helmet.
- Equipment should fit the child. Skiers should wear safety bindings that are adjusted at least every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. Hip pads are effective in preventing fractures. Eye protection or goggles should also be worn.
- Slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Avoid crowded slopes.
For more tips on how to help kids safe, visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention.
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