ER doctor gives advice on how to avoid sledding, tubing injuries this winter

MADISON, Wis. — As families try to get outside while continuing social distancing, many are turning to tubing and sledding for a little family fun.

SSM Health Dr. Sarah Martin said every winter sledding and tubing injuries become pretty common in the emergency room, and that’s what she’s seeing now.

She said these injuries can range from bruises and scrapes to broken bones and even concussions and serious head injuries. She wants families to remember to pay attention to their surroundings when picking a hill to sled on.

“We always recommend going to a public place that’s designated for sledding or a ski area that has a tubing hill. You want to make sure that you’re staying safe, that there’s not a river around the area, there’s not drop offs that aren’t unseen. And below those drop offs there’s not metal objects or things of that nature, that you’re staying away from fences,” said Dr. Martin.

She also said families should avoid hills near streets so there’s no possibility of sliding into traffic.

Dr. Martin also recommends kids always wear a helmet when sledding or tubing. Multi-sport or bicycle helmets are solid options.

Overall, she urges parents to think of safety first. That includes not drinking alcohol while sledding.