Sledging is an exciting bit of winter fun for the whole family. To make sure it remains that way and to prevent potentially serious sledging accidents, it is important to check out a few things before heading down the slope.
Preventing sledging injuries
Before leaving the house, check exterior temperatures, as sledging at temperatures below -19 degrees Celsius (-2.19 degrees Fahrenheit) can result in serious cases of frost bite and/or hypothermia. Dressing in layers, the outer one of which should be wind and water proof, ensure every family member wears a hat covering the ears; mittens, not gloves, and not too tightly fitting waterproof, warm dry boots. Ensuring clothes have no drawstrings and everyone wears neck-warmers, rather than scarves, prevents injuries by strangulation or being caught and dragged under sledges at speed. Wearing hockey, skiing or cycling helmets is also recommended.
Next, check the sledges to be used. This includes making sure brakes and steering mechanisms are in good working order. It should be noted that plastic discs and inner tubes are very hard to control and subsequently not safe. Wooden sledges should also be checked for splinters and patches of rotten wood, which could also lead to injuries while sledging.
Staying away from icy surfaces, sled on snowy, gently sloping hills with clear, long run-off areas. Safety checks include checking for bare patches, jumps and bumps; holes and any obstacles likely to turn sledges over. It is also important to ensure the slope does not lead onto:
- Parking lots
- Railway tracks
Ice-covered ponds, rivers or streams should also be avoided, as the ice may break, which could lead to hypothermia and/or drowning.
Good grip on everyone’s boots is elementary to prevent slip injuries, while trips and falls can be avoided by sledging in well lit areas and in daylight only. Naturally, it is also wise to remind everybody that winter weather means interior surfaces may also be wet and slippery. Looking out for trip hazards in restaurants, shops, hotels, and so on will further assist in preventing accidents on holiday.
If you were injured while sledging at home or abroad through no fault of your own, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation. Give Accident Advice Helpline a call today to find out more. Calls are free; the line is available 24/7, and your information will be kept confidential.
Date Published: July 8, 2014
Author: Accident Advice