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Sledding Safety Tips for Children

blog-default After a snowstorm, kids usually can't wait to get outside and start playing in the white stuff. And while there's plenty to do on a snowy afternoon outdoors, one of the most popular activities among kids is sledding. There's nothing more exciting than racing down a slippery hill on a sled, but it can be dangerous if children aren't careful. Here are some safety tips to help your kids avoid sledding accidents this winter. Dress appropriately Warm winter gear is a must when your kids are spending hours outside. This includes a snowsuit, a warm coat, a hat, mittens or gloves, snow boots and a scarf. Make sure nothing is dangling that could get caught in the sled, like a long zipper pull or the ends of a scarf. If you want your kids to be really safe, you might want to ask them to wear helmets like they would for skiing or snowboarding. Pick a good spot A good sledding hill will be smooth, free of obstructions like trees and shrubs, and clear at the bottom with plenty of space for sliding to a stop. To ensure safety while sledding, don’t let kids sled anywhere near a street or the back of a house. Smaller children should avoid hills that are too steep, which could make them go faster than they're comfortable with. Don't crowd a sled Some sleds are built for two or more people, but those are the only types that should have more than one sledder on them. One child at a time should be using one-person sleds. With multiple kids crowding the seat and not enough handles to hold, the chances of falling off or flipping over are much higher, and could result in injury. Take turns Kids might be excited to go down the hill, but it's important to make sure that they know that only one person at a time should be sledding - unless there's more than enough room on the hill for multiple sledders to go down at once safely. They should wait until the sledder before them is off the sled and walking out of the way of the path before getting on their sled and going down. Minimize jumps This next sledding safety tip will deter children from attempting dangerous jumps. Children and their parents often like to make jumps in the sledding path by piling up snow, but if they're too big, this can be dangerous. Be sure to monitor your kids while they're sledding to shut down any bad ideas that may arise.