Safe sledding, tubing tips

February 6, 2013 2:26:45 PM PST
It's hard to beat the rush of flying down a hill on a sled or in a tube. Doctors warn sledding has its dangers - but there are ways to have fun and stay safe.

Researchers at the "Nationwide Children's Hospital" who study sledding mishaps find the most common injuries are fractures, followed by cuts and bruises. However, head injuries are also common and can be very serious.

Investigators also note the majority of injuries happen during collisions when children aren't paying attention. The type of tube or sled can also make a difference. Experts say it best to stay away from snow discs and toboggans.

"They are a little harder to steer and sometimes get you spinning around in a way you can't really control where you are going," Lara McKenzie, Nationwide Children's Hospital, said.

So what else can parents do to protect their kids? Here are some common sense tips: make sure children are dressed properly and have them wear a helmet, much like they would wear when riding a bike; go downhill feet first and avoid sledding in areas with trees, fences or light poles; Don't sled in the street- ever; and make sure there is adult supervision.

Experts say these are tips are worth repeating at least once a year.