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What You Should Know Before Riding A Sled

Dec 25, 2007
One of the best winter activities that kids and adults can share with is sled riding. It's been one of the early modes of winter transportation that developed into a winter sport. Being simple and inexpensive has made this activity well received by everyone. Unlike ice skating where it can only be done safely on rinks and ponds that are declared to develop thick ice, sled riding is practically an anywhere sport, may it be on the slopes or on flat land. A fast and adrenaline pumping winter action can be fun but can be very dangerous.

Thousands of people, young and old, suffer sledding related accidents annually. Injuries pertaining to the spine, leg, face and ligaments are just some of the many that could be incurred. Another common injury on kids that indulge themselves in sledding is frostbite.

Realizing the dangers of this winter sport, protective gear manufacturers have also developed wares for this kind of activity. There are a wide array of protective clothing, pad gloves and boots to prevent any injury that can be incurred from the sport.

Here are some guidelines on how to prevent injuries incurred through sledding.

Always wear layers of coat topped with a waterproofed jacket. Exposing oneself to the cold without wearing any thermal wear could be life threatening due to hypothermia. Hypothermia can lead to a rider's unconsciousness and may cause him to faint while riding the sled. Another injury that is common amongst sled riders is frostbite. Frostbite occurs when the sled rider does not where waterproofed gloves and boots. Water from the snow could get inside the glove or the boots; then soaking the feet and the fingers in icy cold water. It is advisable to invest on good waterproofed boots and gloves to save those fingers and toes.

Helmets are a good way to protect the skull on impact. Sled riding is done on snow and the rider may not notice a fallen bark and may crash itself to it. Any protective helmet would do as long as it passes the testing and certification process.

To prevent injuring oneself or someone else when sled riding, always check first the equipment before starting the activity. A wobbly sled or a cracked base can lead to critical injuries and could possibly injure someone else.

Never use the sled in the dark. Since visibility for this condition is low, a good chance of slamming yourself onto something is a great possibility.

Never use the sled on icy conditions. It may be fun and thrilling to ride fast on icy conditions but ice smoothens the snow and this will create less friction between the sled and the terrain which can be very difficult to control or stop.
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