Prevent Injuries This Winter - Choosing the Right Sledding Hill

Depending on the way you look at it Mother Nature "rewarded" us some extra snow this winter.  If this winter continues it's course, we could be headed for even more snow days. 

Many area residents with children enjoyed some time in the snow with a day or two of sledding. Though it may seem like harmless fun, sledding injuries send tens of thousands of people to hospital emergency rooms every year. Many sledding injuries unfortunately are head injuries, which can be very serious.

When our hills in southeast Virginia get coated with snow, they may all look like great locations for sledding. However, not all hills are safe. Below are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Select a hill that is not too steep and has a good long flat area at the bottom for you to glide to a stop.
  • Avoid hillsides that end near a street, driveway, or parking lot.
  • Avoid hillsides that end near lakes, ponds, trees, fences or other hazards.
  • Make sure the hill is free of obstacles such as rocks, poles, wires, or trees before you begin sledding.
  • Choose hills that are snowy rather than icy. Icy slopes make for hard landings if you fall off your sled.
  • Try to go sledding during the daytime, when visibility is better. If you go sledding at night, make sure the hillside is well lit and all potential hazards are visible.