Sledding Safety Tips - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Feb 16, 2020

Sledding Safety Tips

Mother Nature provides New Yorkers with many opportunities to find fun in the great outdoors. Sledding is a perfect way to keep active and celebrate the snow we get in the colder months; it can also lead to accidents if precautions aren’t taken. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, an average of over 20,000 people younger than 19 are treated for sledding-related injuries annually. Injuries can occur by falling off the sled, or hitting stationary objects, among other things. We’ve lined up some sledding safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones gliding happily across the snow:

Choose a safe sled
Make sure the sled is appropriate for the height and weight of you or your child before going down-hill. For added safety, choose a sled that comes equipped with brakes and steering ability. All sleds should be ridden in the correct way, so face forward with feet in front. Never ride down face first, standing, or with others in your sled (unless you are accompanying a child younger than five years old). 

Wear the correct gear
Wearing a helmet is a great way to help prevent serious injury while sledding. Also, be sure to dress for the weather by wearing a hat, gloves, snow boots, a winter jacket and snow pants. Avoid wearing a scarf or any other long piece of clothing that can get caught under the sled. 

Pick a safe location
Choosing a smart location is one of the easiest ways to stay safe on the snow. Don’t pick a hill that is too steep, and also make sure it has a long landing so you can come to a safe stop. You should avoid a location that is too close to the road, trees, fences, or any other objects that can pose danger. Icy snow can also pose a risk, as it may be harder to stop your sled and can also cut your skin, so be sure to avoid those locations.

Smart sledding
These last tips just require just a little extra thought. Be sure to walk up the side of the hill if other sliders are still riding down. If you do happen to find yourself in a dangerous situation while sledding, roll off the sled. Also, never pull or be pulled behind a moving vehicle, such as a snowmobile or ATV while on a sled. Lastly, call or visit your local insurance agent to discuss if you’re covered by your homeowner’s policy in the event that you or someone else is hurt on your property while sledding. It’s always better to be sure of your coverage amounts upfront then wish you had known later. 
Most of these tips go without saying, but one small choice can change or save your life. Be sure to have fun and most importantly stay safe while enjoying our winter weather.