Do You Have Your Kids Wear A Helmet When Sledding?
Growing up in the '80's, sledding was pretty much a blood sport. Between shoving matches on our way down the hill, flying off hastily-made 'jumps' in the middle of the hill or just crashing into each other at the bottom of the hill, things could get pretty brutal!
I can even remember 'night sledding' where we would sometimes crash into trees or fences... Don't judge me, it was the '80's.
Despite all of that, I have never even considered putting a helmet on my kid when he goes sledding. On his bike? Yep. On his scooter? Sure. Skateboard? You bet. But for some reason it never dawned on me to put one on him for sledding.
According to a study from the University of Michigan, only 17% parents 'always' put a helmet on their kids when they go sledding. That is a low number when compared to skiing/snowboarding (73%) or snowmobiling (83%).
Sledding injuries, such as fractures, strains, and sprains, aren’t uncommon, with 220,488 patients treated in U.S. emergency departments for sledding-related injuries between 2008 through 2017. Nearly 70% of these patients were children ages 19 years and younger.
One of the issues I can see with the helmets would be squeezing it over the warm winter hat your kid is (hopefully) wearing. The study linked above also lists some safety tips for sledding, including:
Children should wear a fitted winter sport helmet or at least wear a bike helmet. Remember, sledding is often just as fast as or faster than riding a bike. Make sure heads are protected.
Will you put a helmet on your kid for sledding?