Like many of you when it started to snow on Saturday DAD and all 189 of my kids headed out to the local sled hill in Winnetka for some our door fun. The hill is new this year and apparently everyone else in the North Shore decided to check it out as well.
While a few parents did their best to yell at the top of their lungs “walk up the sides” to avoid collisions, the design flaw in this particular hill is there is no designated “side” to walk up, so when the two teenaged girls playing with their phones were too busy texting to listen, my 5 year old son went barreling into one of them and was knocked half unconscious.
Even on the North Shore, there are rules to sledding that apply to everyone and even their nannies. DAD looked up some of them to share with you, it doesn’t matter how much your snow pants and fur lined boots cost, these are tips that will keep you, your kids and other peoples kids safe and out of the emergency room with a head injury or broken bones.
- Walk up the side of the hill and leave the middle open for people sledding.
- Once you hit the bottom, get off your sled. My middle kid likes to lay down on his sled and play in the snow, making him an easy target for a high speed sled. Move to the sides.
- Parents- If you are pushing your kid to give them a start, get out of the way when you are done! There are 1 billion kids behind you, none of which care “how precious Hunter is.” Admire and cheer from the sides.
- Don’t cut in line- It doesn’t matter if your dad is the CEO of BLAH Company. Don’t cut in line! Plenty of kids were walking up the hill, plopping their sleds down and taking off again. Not only is this rude, it causes jammed up hills and potential accidents.
- Parents- Be aware. You have to be the “traffic cops” monitor your kids and don’t be afraid to give a little loud direction when it’s needed. After my son got creased in the head, I was the loudest parent there, yelling “move to the sides.” While I might not be invited to any Winnetka garden parties, I would rather see kids be safe than make sure I am being cool to my paddle partners wife’s friend.
- Some of these new sleds are rockets. If you find yourself on a sled that won’t stop, roll off it and get away from it. Once you are off, get out of the way.
- If you have your own yard, go for it. However on a public hill never build an artificial jump or obstacle on a sledding hill. It may seem cool for older kids, but to a three year old and his mom, it cold put them in the hospital.
- Sit face-forward on your sled, never sled backwards.
- A lot of kids, including mine were standing on their sleds. While it’s cool, it increases the risk of head injury. If you have a little dare devil, bring a helmet.
- I love putting my kids on my back while I lay on my belly and heading down the hill headfirst. It’s dangerous and greatly increases the risk of a head injury. If you do it, which I know I will, make sure you have a clear path to avoid a collision.
- Young kids (5 and under) should sled with an adult.
- Avoid things you can crash into, like cars, trees, fences and ponds. Stay away from hills near parking lots, you don’t want to slide into traffic.
- As fun as giant piles of plowed snow are to play in, sledding off of them into streets is unsafe for several reasons: cars, cement, hitting a cement divider, not a good idea.
- As cool as scarves look on kids, when you are sledding, they can get tangled on branches, caught under a sled and injure or even strangle your kids.
These tips and a little common sense will make sledding fun all Winter long, even on the North Shore. For more interesting DAD, mom, kid, parent stuff, remember to Like Dad All Day on Facebook by clicking here.