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Prevent Sledding, Tobogganing, and Snow Tubing Injuries

Child SkiingAbout 4,000 kids suffer sledding-related head injuries each year. Children should always wear helmets when sledding: there are no helmets specifically designated for sledding–use a properly sized and fitted bike helmet or ski helmet.

Choose a sledding location carefully: look for a big hill with a gentle slope to avoid collisions with trees, bushes, or other barriers, like fences. Make sure the slope does not end at a parking lot, pond, or other hazard. Teach kids to always follow these sledding safety rules:

  • Never sled or tube head first – always sit, facing forward.
  • Never go sledding or tubing in the dark or during a snow storm.
  • Look for bare spots in the snow that could cause a sled, toboggan or snow tube to stop suddenly.
  • Do not sled or tube over jumps or moguls.
  • Never sled close to trees or large rocks.
  • Sled and snow tube only in designated areas.
  • Never go sledding, tobogganing or snow tubing alone, because there will be no one to go for help if there is trouble.
  • Make sure the path is clear of other sledders before taking your turn and move quickly to the side after you reach the bottom.
  • Walk up the side of the hill and leave the middle open for other sledders to keep from getting hit – sleds can reach up to 25 mph in a typical downhill run.

Protect Your Head While Skiing or Snowboarding

All skiers and snowboarders should wear properly fitted helmets to help prevent head injuries from falls and collisions. An estimated 7,700 head injuries – including 2,600 head injuries to children – could be prevented or reduced in severity each year by using helmets in winter sports.

Choosing a Helmet

Select a helmet that fits properly and is comfortable. Helmets should not be too snug or loose and should:

  • Cover the front of your forehead, back of your head, temples, and ears
  • Keep your field of vision clear
  • Allow you to wear your ski goggles
  • Allow you to hear clearly
  • Have an adjustable chin strap
  • Be specially designed for skiing and snowboarding and labeled as meetings ASTM, CEN, or Snell performance standards
  • Be replaced when they have been outgrown or been in a crash

Buy a Skiing/Snowboarding Helmet

If you need a skiing/snowboarding helmet for your child, check out the Rainbow Safety Store. For larger orders (your school ski club, for example), the Rainbow Injury Prevention Center has teamed up with Bell Sports and Safe Kids USA to make Giro ski/snow helmets available at a discount price for bulk orders. To learn more about the program or place a bulk order for discount helmets, call the Rainbow Injury Prevention Center at 216-983-1110.