Study shows helmets may reduce sledding injuries

Ann Arbor, MI – The number of children being treated for sledding injuries at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has doubled this year, compared with previous years. The hospital has recorded nine major injuries as of Feb. 2  the highest on record, according to hospital officials.

Across the country, approximately 24,500 sledding injuries occurred in 2007. Children often are injured in sledding incidents when the sled hits a fixed object, such as a tree or light post. Amy Teddy, injury prevention program manager at the hospital, suggests these injuries could have been avoided if the children had been wearing helmets while sledding.

“We can say with certainty that the severity of injuries would have been reduced in all of these incidents if the kids had been wearing a helmet at the time,” she said. “If you are doing something that involves moving at a high rate of speed, you should wear a helmet.”

Additional sledding safety tips include ensuring sledding hills do not lead to a street or body of water, and only going down the hill while sitting up and facing forward – not head first, according to the hospital.

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