Sledding safety: Medical experts, others warn of severe injuries from the winter-time activity
Jan 27, 2024, 5:09 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm
AMERICAN FORK — You don’t have to understand Spanish to know how much fun a group of kids were having Saturday morning.
Laughter is universal.
“Oh, it is awesome,” said Del Coombs who was watching them. “Just to see the joy that they have and being able to come out here and do this.”
Coombs is with a Spanish speaking church congregation in American Fork.
The group came to Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon Saturday morning to give sledding a try.
“Many of these boys haven’t ever gone sledding before. So, this is their first-time experience,” Coombs said.
For as much fun as they were having, though, this was also a good place to teach them about being safe in the snow.
“You have to be careful on the jumps,” Coombs said. “The snow condition, if it is icy, that can even be worse. You go sledding a lot faster and it is a lot harder.”
Sledding and safety
All the sledders in his group were wearing brand new white helmets.
They got them from Intermountain Healthcare, who was handing out the free helmets in the parking lot, while remind sledders of potential injuries.
“We see them daily,” said Kourtney Dinehart, a registered nurse with IHC in American Fork. “People forget the snow can be concrete. It can be hard. You can get fast and run into people. There are so many things that we don’t think about that, and it is always going to be someone else, not yourself, and then they end up seeing us in the ER.”
Injuries do happen
Mckyliee Young knows that experience all too well.
She was seriously injured in a sledding accident at Rock Canyon Park in Provo a year ago.
“Yeah, I broke almost 40 bones. I had nerve roots ripped out of my spinal cord. I had four surgeries in like a seven-month span,” Young said.
She is recovering and has become a big advocate of wearing a helmet for sledding.
“I think people think of sledding as child’s play and I think it needs to be taken as seriously as skiing and snowboarding,” she said.
Wearing helmets can help prevent serious injuries.
It is also a lesson where even first-timers can become instant experts.
“Go home the way you came,” said Coombs. “Have a good time and be able to go back home to your family.”