YOUR LIFE YOUR HEALTH

Why helmet safety is important when playing in the snow

Mar 2, 2023, 5:36 PM | Updated: 5:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITYAll of the recent snowfall in Utah has created every kid’s winter wonderland, but if you plan to hit the sledding hill, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

The joys of fresh snow includes the adrenaline of sliding down a hill.

“It’s super fun,” said sledder Carter Scholes. “The thrill of going off the hill is fun.”

Scholes and his three siblings love playing out in the snow, and his mom likes taking them sledding because she feels like it’s a generally safe activity.

“They like sledding because it’s fun and exhilarating and pretty safe for that feeling of excitement,” said Brittaney Scholes, the children’s mother.

“Especially now with the snow super deep, you don’t really get hurt landing,” Carter said.

While that’s not always true, you can prevent most serious injuries with a few precautions.

Michelle Jamison, the community health manager at Intermountain’s Primary Children’s Hospital, said it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, like if there is a road nearby or any buried objects.

“There are lots of hazards that you may not see because it looks like a winter wonderland, but really, there are potential problems under that,” Jamison said.

To keep safe while sledding, Intermountain Health also recommends you avoid sledding hills with jumps and trees nearby, sled feet first, space kids out before going down the hill, and try to find a hill with a long runoff at the end so it creates a natural slow down.

“We talk about broken brains, and we can’t fix those with a cast, so prevention is the key,” Jamison said.

That’s why Jamison said there is one more item just as important as your favorite sled — a helmet.

“Those sledding outings that start as a fun thing can potentially lead to a traumatic brain injury, so we want to protect our kids and those brains,” Jamison said.

To make sure your helmet fits, they recommend the two finger rule.

“We want two fingers above the eyebrows,” Jamison said. “Then, when we buckle, what we want is two fingers under the chin and not a lot of wiggle room when it’s on.”

This is advice that Rebecca Tulelea and her three boys are thankful for. They are from California and went sledding for the first time here in Utah.

“We don’t really know the correct attire when it comes to snow and playing in the snow,” Rebecca said.

“I’m used to just a bunch of sand, but this is fun,” said Champ Tulelea, Rebecca’s son.

So now, the Tuleleas and you can hit the sledding hill without any fear.

For more information on helmet safety, visit here.

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Why helmet safety is important when playing in the snow