Nationwide Children’s Hospital researcher gives tips on how to safely sled this winter

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Researchers say more than 80% of those children going to emergency rooms are for head injuries

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Sliding down snow-covered hills is a winter favorite for adults and children, but it’s not always fun and games.

“We are seeing the majority of those who are going to the emergency department for these sledding-related injuries to be children,” said Rebecca McAdams, a researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

According to a 10-year study on sledding injuries by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 70% of the people who go to the emergency room after being hurt from sledding are children ages 19 and under.

“It can be that children are more likely to present to emergency departments or adults are taking their children to the emergency department because they are worried for their children. Perhaps when an adult is injured they aren’t as concerned,” McAdams said.

Most commonly, people are injured when they hit something and wipe out.

Researchers say more than 80% of those children going to emergency rooms are for head injuries. So, they recommend always wearing a helmet.

“This can be just a bicycle helmet or a snow sport helmet,” McAdams said.

You can take other safety precautions too, like always having an adult present and making sure there is nothing in the way that the sled can run into.

Go sledding during the day or in a well-lit area and teach your children the right way to handle a sled.

“Children learn by modeling. So when I’m with my son, I’ll sit on the sled and be like okay, this is what you do with your body. Model the behavior while the sled is stationary,” McAdams said.

Also, make sure to use a sled you can steer.

“We also recommend that people choose a sled that has braking capability and control capability,” McAdams said.

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