How to keep kids safe on the sledding hill - FOX 32 News Chicago

How to keep kids safe on the sledding hill

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(WJBK) -

Seems like everyone has a story about a sledding mishap. Some are funny yet others are pretty serious. Every year as many as 20 thousand kids get hurt simply  when sledding.

"Head injuries are more common in kids who are under nine, and fractures are more common in kids who are over 10," says Dr. Deb Lonzer from the Cleveland Clinic.

But following a few simple rules can significantly decrease a chance for injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to send your kids down the hill on a steerable sled because snow disks and inner tubes are too hard to control.

You can also improve safety by supervising your kids at all times and by even going down the hill with them.

Choose a hill that is covered with snow - not ice, and make sure it's clear of trees and fences.

Dr. Lonzer says putting a helmet on your child when sledding isn't a bad idea, either.  

"Realistically, for the kids under nine who are more likely to get a head injury, a helmet is not a bad idea. If you take all of the precautions that we're recommending and you carefully supervise kids, even going down the hill with them, they're much less likely to have a head injury. But if you really want to be completely safe at home, it's not a bad way to go," she says.   

If your kids refuse to wear a helmet don't let them go down the hill head first. And remember, a safe sledding hill does not lead to a street, a body of water, a crowded gathering place or a tree.

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