It’s a rite of passage. The first snowfall and it’s time to get the toboggan, sled, snow board, tube or snow racer out. Anything that will allow you to slide down the hill with the greatest of speed and squeal with excitement.
It can be painful
Not every trip down the hill ends so well. Would you be surprised to know how many children are injured while tobogganing? During a one-week period last winter a Montreal hospital emergency room saw 45 injured children do to sledding accidents. One of the doctors reports most injuries were caused by toboggans hitting objects, running into posts, benches and trees.
Because of those numbers from just one hospital, we’d like to offer you the top five safety tips to have an enjoyable time.
- Slide on hills that have a flat bottom so the toboggan can stop
- Never slide into the street
- Ensuring there are no obstacles on the hill, including park benches, trees, and bales of hay (which easily freeze)
- Avoid tobogganing in dusk or dark conditions (obstacles become difficult to see)
- Wear a helmet (snow sports helmet)
Children under the age of six (6) years old should always be supervised by adults and not be left with older siblings when going to hit the hills.
Indoors play should be undertaken if the temperature or the wind chill falls below -25 °C (-13 °F). At this temperature, exposed skin freezes in a few minutes.
It’s also important to note that children under the age of three (3) lose a lot of body heat through their heads. This is because their heads are so much like larger of a proportion to their overall body size. So, after tobogganing they need to get all those wet clothes and boots off to prevent frostbite.