Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

How can Pittsburgh parents protect kids from sledding injuries?

When you think of sledding, what comes to mind? You probably imagine a peaceful scene in which children sled down a hill after a fresh snowfall, laughing and having fun, before going inside to have hot chocolate or something of that nature. What you probably do not think of is head injuries, broken bones and even death. Unfortunately, sledding injuries are fairly common among children and teens, and it is up to kids and their parents to take the appropriate action to protect against those harms.

In one tragic example of the serious injuries that can occur from sledding, a Pittsburgh-area teenager recently died as a result of the head injury she suffered while sledding on another's property. The 16-year-old girl was sharing a sled with her twin sister when it crashed into a tree, causing the teen to suffer a head trauma. She was airlifted to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she soon died.

According to Children's Hospital Director of Trauma and Injury Prevention Dr. Barbara Gaines, injuries such as those suffered by the teen are, unfortunately, all-too-common. After every heavy snowfall, she says, the hospital sees about 20 children and teenagers with sledding-related injuries. These can range from broken bones, which are an inconvenience but not life-threatening, to head and brain injuries with lasting and life-altering consequences.

In order to prevent those injuries, Dr. Gaines recommends that children and teens wear helmets while sledding. In addition, she says that parents should inspect sledding hills for possible hazards, such as trees or easy access to a road, before allowing children to sled.

Source: Trib Live, "Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh warns of sledding dangers," Chris Togneri, Dec. 30, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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