More than 20,000 children injured annually while sledding: study

More than 20,000 children are injured every year in sledding accidents, indicates a recent study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.

According to a study abstract, more than 229,000 children 18 and younger were treated in emergency rooms for sledding-related injuries between 1997 and 2007. Slightly more than one-half of these injuries occurred as a result of a collision. Fractures, cuts and bruises were the most common injuries; however, traumatic brain injury occurred in some cases, particularly in situations where children were sledding on streets or highways.

"To reduce the risk of injury, sledding areas should be clear of trees and other obstacles and should have sufficient run-out areas away from streets," said study co-author Lara McKenzie. "In addition, sledding on streets and highways should be avoided to prevent collisions with motor vehicles and other traffic."

Researchers further warned that children should never ride sleds pulled by any type of motorized vehicle, such as a car, truck, all-terrain vehicle or snowmobile.

The study appeared in the Aug. 23 online edition of the journal Pediatrics.

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