Sledding Safely - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sledding Safely

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WATERLOO (KWWL)-- Before winter break comes to an end,  many area students are spending their final free time outside in the snow.  And while activities like sledding can be a lot of fun, they can also be dangerous. 

"Me and my dad were going down the hill, and we were spinning backwards and rotating around," said Tanner Faulkner, who spent Sunday morning sledding.

Faulkner and his dad were only able to make a few downhill dives since their sledding tube popped.  Luckily, they weren't hurt.  But all too often, a speedy slide in the snow and ice can end with an injury.  In fact, about 20,000 kids get hurt each year in sledding accidents.  So to avoid a visit to the emergency room after heading down the hills, here are some safety tips.

First, never go sledding on or near the streets.  Also, be sure your sledding path is clear so you don't run into anything or anyone.  And experts say before any downhill trip, not to try the tricks and fancy stuff.  Only sled when facing forward.  Another way to avoid run-ins is to only sled during daylight hours so you can best see the obstacles around you.

And if you're out sledding, it's probably pretty cold outside.  So it's important to bundle up and dress in layers to prevent conditions like frostbite and hypothermia.

During outdoor activities, adults supervision is also a must.

"I hold onto my dad's legs," Faulkner said.

Following these tips just might help ensure your child's next sledding experience is a safe one.

The medical journal Pediatrics also recommends that small children wear a good fitting helmet while sledding.  That's because the majority of sledding accidents involved head injuries.  And in a recent study, kids 4 and under were found to be four times more likely than older children to sustain a traumatic head injury.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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