Published on December 21, 2022

Safe Sledding - It's Snow Joke!

Winter activities such as sledding and tobogganing can be fun for the whole family. Nothing is more Canadian than pointing a sled down a snowy hill and holding on (or not) until the bottom! But there are important safety tips to keep all sledders safe:

ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET

Head injuries can be devastating and wearing a helmet can drastically reduce the severity of an injury. Winter sport helmets are best but any helmet to protect the noggin while you toboggan is a must. A note to parents: adults wearing a helmet is a great way to model safe behaviours on the hill.

INSPECT THE AREA

Take an extra moment to identify any possible safety issues before sliding down with your kids. Sled to the conditions - was there a recent thaw/freeze cycle? This creates hidden icy patches. Ensure the hill is not too steep, away from roads, rivers or railroads and that there is plenty of open space to stop at the bottom.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY

Dress in layers (base, mid, outer) so that you can stay warm or let off a little heat if you get too hot. On very cold days, avoid exposed skin or check any exposed skin for white patches that can indicate frostbite.

SLED SAFELY

Building jumps, stepping into the path of oncoming toboggans, and seeing how many people can fit on a toboggan at one time are all ways of taking a fun activity and making it unnecessarily risky. Sled down either sitting up or kneeling – avoid going headfirst or on your back as this increases the chances of serious injuries.

SHARE THE HILL

Slow down there Clark W. Griswold! Wait until the path is clear before launching your sled and watch up the hill for anyone headed your way once you’ve reached the bottom. Walk up the hill on the sides, out of the way of tobogganers headed down.

Other tips to keep in mind for a safe sledding adventure include avoid sledding after dark, having proper caregiver supervision (especially for those under 5) and knowing who to contact with safety concerns.

Now that you’ve got these safety tips down, bundle up, get outside and enjoy some Canadian winter fun with a season of safe sledding!  


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Last edited: December 21, 2022