Sled Safely: The Benefits of Winter Play for Children

sled safely

Sledding is a holistic and enjoyable activity for children, seamlessly blending fun and therapeutic advantages. Beyond the sheer joy of sliding down snowy hills, this age-old winter pastime actively promotes the physical development of young adventurers. This winter activity offers a break from indoor routines, encouraging outdoor play in the refreshing winter air. But, it’s important to know how to sled safely in order to prevent injuries from occurring.

Sledding Benefits

Leg Strength and Endurance: Sledding requires children to use their legs to push off or navigate the sled, promoting the development of leg muscles. The effort to climb back up the hill provides an excellent workout, enhancing both strength and endurance.

Core Engagement: Balancing on a sled demands core strength, as children instinctively engage their abdominal and back muscles to maintain stability. This constant core engagement contributes to the development of a strong and stable core over time.

Coordination and Balance: Steering and maneuvering a sled down a hill involve complex motor skills. As children learn to coordinate their movements, they enhance their overall balance and develop a better sense of spatial awareness.

Gear Up to Sled Safely

Choose appropriate gear to prevent injuries:

  • Opt for a winter sports helmet for optimal head protection; a bike helmet is better than none.
  • Also, bundle up in warm clothing, including a hat, gloves or mittens, snow pants, winter jacket, and snow boots, but avoid scarves.

Choose a Safe Sledding Spot & Sled Safely

Pick a suitable location for sledding and stay safe:

  • Firstly, choose a hill with a moderate slope and a flat area at the bottom for a safe glide to a stop.
  • Avoid hills near streets, parking lots, trees, fences, or other hazards.
  • Check the sledding path for bumps, rocks, poles, or trees.
  • Ensure a responsible adult is present in case of any injuries.
  • Sit face-forward on the sled with feet downhill to prevent serious head injuries.
  • Keep arms and legs within the sled.
  • If a sled won’t stop, roll off it.
  • Lastly, walk up the side of the hill, leaving the middle open for other sledders.

So, now you know all the tips and tricks sled safely, find a hill and go! You can check out more sled safety tips from Kids Health.