Snow days have been frequent here lately, so here are some tips to enjoy the snow in a safe way.
Dr. Todd Grime. Photo provided.
This month’s winter storms yielded the most measurable snow in the Tri-state in more than a decade. That makes for cozy times in front of a fire, snow days off, some slippery roads and great skiing, sledding and snowboarding. How can you make sure you and your kids stay safe when taking advantage of the wintery accumulation?
Surprisingly, of those three outdoor winter activities, sledding causes the most injuries.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 23,000 people are treated for sledding injuries at emergency rooms annually. Sometimes the injuries are minor, but sometimes they can be severe.
Dr. Todd Grime from Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine offers some easy-to-follow safety tips as you and your family head out to the big hill. “Much of what I suggest is common sense,” said Dr. Grime, “But I want to be sure to offer some basic tips to keep your and your kids safe when sledding.”
- Dress for outdoors winter weather – Even though you will be exerting yourself, be sure to dress for warmth. Wearing layers of clothing instead of bulky items will not only keep everyone warmer, but it will also allow you to move around more freely. Finally, wear a hat and waterproof boots and gloves.
- Wear protective gear – Since so many kids are sledding and head injuries are common among sled riders, the American Academy of Orthopedics recommends that children under 12 wear helmets.
- Check equipment – Make sure your sled’s steering works and that the runners are straight and free from rust.
- Prep the hill and surrounding area – Make sure the area is clear of trees, bushes, fences, walls, rocks, drop-offs, icy patches and waterways. With small children, you may want to put bales of straw at the bottom, so stopping is easier and relatively soft.
- Separate younger sledders from the older kids (or kids at heart). Small children have less control of the sleds and may get in the way of older (faster) sledders. That can spell danger for all involved.
Snow can provide great fun for children and adults alike. “It only takes a few extra steps to prevent injuries, while still making memories,” said Dr. Grime. “Take the precautions. Avoiding injuries is always better than treating one later.” However, if you or someone you love gets injured, appointments are available at Beacon West, Lawrenceburg and Batesville, along with Saturday morning injury clinics and urgent care at Erlanger and Summit Woods.
Go to www.beaconortho.com or call 513-354-3700 for an appointment. All 13 Beacon locations are seeing patients. Striving to ensure patient and staff health, Beacon offers Telehealth Video Visits and when seeing patients in person, they are using all approved safety protocols, including temperature checks, masks, hand sanitizing. Providing a safe environment to diagnose and recommend the next steps for any injury is always the right thing to do.