Sleigh bumps

Many of you may still be in a summer state of mind, but new research already has us thinking about winter fun. A new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that sledding is responsible for a staggering average of 20,820 injuries per year.

Using data from the National Electronic Surveillance System, researchers determined an average yearly sledding injury rate of 26 per 100,000 children ages nineteen and younger. MedPage Today reports that boys were the most prone to sledding accidents (particularly those between the ages of ten and fourteen), accounting for 60 percent of those injured.

Overall, the head was the most commonly injured area of the body, making up 34 percent of the injuries requiring hospital care. Here is the breakdown of injuries as reported by HealthDay:

  • Fractures – 26 %
  • Cuts and bruises – 25 %
  • Strains/sprains – 16 %
  • Traumatic brain injuries – 9 %

According to WebMD, 4.1 percent of all emergency department visits required hospitalization. Collisions of all types – whether with trees, people, or poles – were the most common cause of sledding injuries, occurring 50.6 percent of the time. Snow tubes were the most likely to lead to brain injuries and children ages four and under, were found to be four times more likely to sustain a head injury, Reuters reports.

The researchers also found that 51.8 percent of injuries occurred at a public sports or recreation area, and 31 percent took place on private property.

This study will be published in the September issue of Pediatrics. For sledding safety tips, click here.

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One Response to Sleigh bumps

  1. Amanda says:

    This surprises me a lot, actually. I am from Colorado, so sledding has always been a normal pastime for me. However, because I have been around sledding so much I can see how this could be possible when I really think about it. Although no one I know has ever suffered a severe injury from sledding, I can think of several close calls. I know, I personally have hit a tree; luckily I was just slightly bruised.

    The thing I wonder about this study though, is how the data was collected. With something like this, it is tough to get reliable data, but I would think something like getting medical reports would be more reliable than a user survey. For example, if this were a study where response is optional, it would be a lot more likely that someone who has – or someone who knows someone who has – been severely injured would be much more likely to respond, because they would want to get the message out there about the dangers of sledding. Not that I’m saying the findings aren’t valid; I just wonder exactly how accurate this figures are.

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