It's that time of year where it's fun to be out in the snow. If you're out with your kids, item 3 of the Winter Sports Safety section in the Guide to Safe Scouting reads as follows:
"APPROPRIATE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED FOR ALL ACTIVITIES. THIS INCLUDES THE RECOMMENDED USE OF HELMETS FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS ENGAGED IN WINTER SPORTS SUCH AS SLEDDING AND OTHER SLIDING DEVICES. THE USE OF HELMETS IS REQUIRED FOR THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES: DOWNHILL SKIING, SNOWBOARDING, AND OPERATION OF SNOWMOBILES (FULL-FACE HELMETS)."
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following safety guidelines to improve sledding safety:
- Parents or adults must supervise children at all times while they are sledding.
- Sled only in designated areas free of fixed objects such as trees, posts, and fences.
- Do not sled on slopes that end in a street, drop-off, parking lot, river, or pond.
- All participants must sit in a forward-facing position, steering with their feet or a rope tied to the steering handles of the sled. No one should sled headfirst down a slope.
- To protect from injury, it is important to wear helmets, gloves, and layers of clothing.
- Do not sit/slide on plastic sheets or other materials that can be pierced by objects on the ground.
- Use a sled with runners and a steering mechanism, which is safer than toboggans or snow disks.
- Sled in well-lighted areas when choosing evening activities.
- Individuals with pre-existing neurological problems may be at a higher risk for injury.
Please remember The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety, which embodies good judgment and common sense for all Scouting activities:
1. Qualified Supervision
2. Physical Fitness
3. Buddy System
4. Safe Area or Course
5. Equipment Selection and Maintenance
6. Personal Safety Equipment
7. Safety Procedures and Policies
8. Skill Level Limits
9. Weather Check
12. Permits and Notices
13. First-Aid Resources
14. Applicable Laws
15. CPR Resources
Have fun, but remember to be safe!