The thrill and excitement of sledging makes it one of Britain’s favourite winter pastimes, however sledges travel fast and are difficult to control especially when driven by inexperienced children, on crowded, unprepared, and unsupervised hills. In conjunction with a lack of awareness over the dangers posed by sledging and the precautions necessary to maximise safety, this results in thousands of preventable sledging accidents across the country each year.
With snow settling in many parts of the country, Snozone, the indoor real snow slope, has teamed up with the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) to create a simple guide to parents whose children are set on sledging outdoors. The PLAY guide aims to limit injuries and encourage safe sledging.
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PROTECT: Always wear a helmet plus thick padded clothing to protect your limbs and organs.
LOCATE: The right area to sledge is important for safety. Look around to ensure there is plenty of snow and no trees or other obstructions in your path.
AWARE: Be conscious of other riders around you to limit the risk of crashing on your descent.
YES: Enjoy the snow, safely!
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Elena Kale, a spokesperson for Snozone, says: “We hope the PLAY guidelines will encourage families to enjoy the snow safely, to avoid preventable injuries this winter. If the snow recedes before you get a chance to sledge outside this winter, or there’s no snow at all, we provide the facilities so that families can enjoy the thrill of sledging in a safe environment all year round”.
Steven Winfield, Emergency Services Manager at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) said “We know that it can be appealing to go out and enjoy the snow but if you do choose to go out and sledge SCAS would encourage you to do so safely. Wherever you choose to sledge please be aware of the potential dangers associated to sledging making sure you do so in an appropriate place and wearing the correct protective clothing. Please don’t be a casualty in the snow and take the appropriate precautions.”