Winter’s first snowfall is around the corner and kids in St. Louis will be itching to hit the sledding hills. We tend to think of sledding as a relatively safe winter activity, but it can be extremely dangerous.
Every year there are numerous stories in the news about serious sledding injuries and deaths. For example, a 13-year-old Oak Grove, Missouri, girl was paralyzed in a 2011 sledding accident. In another incident, a 12-year-old boy and his 9-year-old sister were killed when their sled fell through ice in Southwest City, Missouri. Early in 2013, a 17 year-old Providence, Rhode Island, girl was killed when she slammed into a tree while sledding, and a 11-year-old girl Nevada died when she slammed into a fence intended to stop sledders from riding into a restricted area.
Stories like these shouldn’t necessarily stop us from having fun on the sled hills, but they should remind us of how important it is to keep in mind these sledding safety tips from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
- Wear a properly-fitted helmet to prevent head injuries;
- Use a sled that has a steering mechanism to avoid sledding into dangerous areas;
- Sled only in a well-lit area; and
- Wear extra layers of clothing to pad any falls and protect against the elements.
Despite taking proper precautions, sledding accidents still happen. Sometimes injuries are inevitable when taking part in a dangerous activity. At other times, an accident is caused by someone else’s carelessness.
When an accident is caused by another person’s negligence, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries. Consult with a St. Louis personal injury attorney immediately after you or a loved one has been injured to learn about your rights.