Sledding Safety Tips

Melissa Kossler Dutton

Sledding is a fun and inexpensive way for families to enjoy the outdoors during winter. But it also can be dangerous. By taking a few basic precautions, however, families can safely enjoy the hills of Central Ohio.

The experts at nonprofit health system Nemours have assembled some safety tips for parents. First and foremost, they recommend choosing a site carefully. Don’t sled on hills that slope into streets, ponds or parking lots. It’s also a good idea to avoid hills with a lot of trees or fencing that could pose a danger.

It’s best to give children rules to follow. Here are a few recommended by Nemours (read more at

  • A responsible adult should always be present. In case someone is injured, he or she can administer first aid and, if necessary, drive to the emergency room or call 911.
  • Children ages 5 and younger should sled with an adult. Those younger than 12 should be supervised at all times.
  • Don’t let kids sled backwards or while standing. Both can result in head injuries.
  • Teach sledding safety. Children should keep their arms and legs within the sled, and move out of the way if they fall. If a sled won’t stop, they should know how to roll off of it.
  • Never let children sled behind a moving vehicle.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers additional information on sledding safety at