Home Health Kids don’t always wear helmets when sledding

Kids don’t always wear helmets when sledding


Fun sport par excellence, tobogganing makes you happy both young and old. But beware of the risk of falls and collisions due to obstacles such as stones, trees, people or vehicles, with the consequences of cerebrocranial injuries, fractures or other injuries to the legs, feet and trunk. That is why for children, but also for adults, wearing a snow sports helmet is more than recommended. But this good habit is far from being unanimously adopted by parents for their children, as shown by a recent survey conducted by researchers at Mott Children’s Hospital. from the University of Michigan, published on its website (responses from 1,992 parents with at least one child aged 3 to 18 as of October 2021.)

The survey consisted of specifically questioning this national sample of parents on the way in which they ensure the safety of their childrenduring winter activities, regardless of gender: sledding, skiing, snowmobiling… His results firstly indicate that the most common outdoor activity for younger children (3 to 9 years old) and older children (10 at 18) is sledding (62% younger, 46% older). But it turns out that if three quarters of parents say that their child always wear a helmet when downhill skiing, only 17% say their child wears one when sledding. They are also less likely to talk to their child about safety rules when sledding compared to other winter activities.

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In sledding, the safety instructions to follow

” Activities like sledding and skiing offer families an exciting way to enjoy the winter months outdoors. “, explain the researchers. “But parents are responsible for taking the right steps to minimize the risk of injury to their children. “The latter recall that the sledding injuries, such as fractures and sprains, are not uncommon, with 220,488 patients treated in US emergency departments for this reason between 2008 and 2017. Nearly 70% of these patients were aged 19 and under. Because by not considering sledding as dangerous as other winter sports, parents are less likely to give advice like how to avoid collisions and descend sledging safely at the bottom of the hill.

” Because tobogganing is so common, parents may overlook important safety issues. However, to avoid injury, they must ensure that the sledding area is free of trees, rocks or other objects that could cause a collision, and that there are a flat, pristine area at the bottom of the hill: no street, parking lot, pond or fence. They should also make sure their children understand strategies for avoiding collisions with other objects. “, adds the scientific team. Finally, the survey indicates that parents of young children aged 3 to 9 years old are more likely to leave young children without adult supervision when sledding much more often than when skiing or snowmobiling.

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Study authors stress that head injuries should be parents’ biggest concern when it comes to tobogganing safety, which is why they insist on the importance of their recommendations. “Young children need to be supervised at all times during winter sports activities, either by a parent or a trusted adult. This allows parents to ensure that children respect safety rules and decide to leave if the area becomes too crowded or if other people are acting unsafe. “, they conclude. In addition to the helmet, the appropriate equipment for a winter sport consists of ski goggles, an anorak, ski pants and gloves. Everything must be warm and waterproof.

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