Checkup: Sledding Injuries
One of the best things about winter is snow. Because snow is fun. Yes, shoveling the stuff is a pain. But what’s better than making a snowman? Or having a snowball fight?
And the best thing about snow is, of course, sledding. There’s just nothing like finding the perfect hill, jumping on your sled, and zipping down as fast as you can.
One thing about sledding, though: it can be pretty dangerous. In fact, every year, thousands of kids get hurt.
"The most frequent injuries were fractures, and that accounted for about 26% of the cases, followed by contusions and abrasions, such as bumps and bruises, and that was about 25% of the cases."
That’s Lara McKenzie, a researcher at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus Ohio. She’s referring to a study she and some colleagues did, looking at sledding injuries. One of the main things McKenzie found was that it matters where you go sledding.
"To reduce the risk of injury, the sledding area should be clear of trees and other obstacles such as light posts or fences, and should have sufficient run out areas away from the street."
Because, of course, sledding directly into a busy street is normally not considered a safe thing to do.
And, it also matters how you sled. Like, for example, did you know that it’s a bad idea to sled on an inner tube?
"Snow tubes have a tendency to twist or spin while you’re riding them, so it causes the rider to not have clear sight of where they’re going so they may go down the hill backwards or spinning, so they don’t have a lot of control over steering it or the direction that they’re going down the hill."
So if you’re using a regular, feet-first sled on a clear, treeless hill with plenty of space, you’re good to go for some happy, injury-free sledding.
I’m Jeremy Shere.