Whizzing O'er the Snow

Tips from Personal Experience
  |  Gorp.com
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Nothing beats solid personal experience. After seven years of sledding with my son, I've picked up a few tips, some of which have been mentioned ealrier, but bear reinforcing:

Supervise Kids . This is always a good thing, and one of the best ways to ensure sledding safety. Parents should accompany preschool-aged kids in the sled. Older kids can sled alone, parents should be present to make sure other kids don't become rough or careless. Kids often get so involved in their own activity that they sometimes forget there are other kids on the hill.

Check Conditions . They change each day. What's safe one day may not be the next. Avoid obstacles, bumps, patches of ice. Don't be shy about testing a hill to determine if it's safe.

Inspect Sleds . Make sure your child's sled is sturdy and can be steered. Avoid homemade sleds made from garbage can lids or plastic bags, which are hard to steer and can be pierced by rocks and branches hiding under the snow. Make sure the sled doesn't have any broken parts or jagged edges that can cause injuries.

Check Your Child . Make sure he or she is dressed warmly and stays dry. It's safest for them to sled sitting up. Kids should never go down head first or standing up.

Tuck Them In. Make sure arms, legs, drawstring and loose bits of clothing are tucked in. Scarves and clothes with drawstrings aren't safe as these can get tangled or stuck on obstacles on the way down.

Sledding safely requires a bit of preparation and caution on your end, but don't let that get in the way of having fun. Now get out there in the snow and do it!

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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