The thrill of flying down the hill on a sled or toboggan requires no training, but it can still cause pain and injury for sledders who aren’t careful. Follow these tips to help keep yourself safe this season.
Before you ride
- Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen and sun glasses.
- Dress properly and in layers for the weather.
- Select a hill with plenty of room to stop.
- Helmets are strongly advised.
- Always sit or kneel facing forward.
- Keep your hands, arms and legs inside the sled to prevent injury.
- Remember to tuck in strings, straps and long toques. Use a neck warmer instead of a scarf.
- Wait until the path is clear before starting down the hill.
- Quickly get out of the way when you reach the bottom.
- Roll off to the side if you have to get off in a hurry. Do not use your hands or feet to try and stop the sled.
- Overcrowding a toboggan with too many riders.
- Going downhill head first (no lying down).
- Attempting to stop the toboggan with your hands and feet if you lose control.
- If injured, remember to PRICE — Protection Rest Ice Compression Elevation. Do not apply heat such as a heating pad or hot tub for at least the first three days following the injury.
The majority of injuries from sledding are the result of collisions with objects or people. Most common are head injuries followed by upper and lower limb injury. To help speed your recovery, see a chiropractor or other health care professional as soon as possible if you are injured.