Sledding Helmets for Kids
If you grew up in an area with snowy winters, you probably did your share of sledding as a kid (or even as an adult). There's nothing like the thrill of zipping down a snow-covered hill with your friends. If you grew up going sledding every winter, the idea of a sledding helmet may seem ridiculous. But if you've ever crashed on a sled, you'll know there's also nothing like the pain of colliding with another sledder, a tree branch, a fence, a pole, a ditch, the list goes on. Depending on the hill, a sledder can approach speeds of 25 mph. That's an awful lot of velocity for a kid riding on a $9.99 plastic disc.
Some Stats on Sledding Helmets
According to the Center on Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, Ohio), more than 20,000 U.S. children and teens are injured in sledding accidents each year. For an activity that's only possible a few weeks a year and only in certain parts of the country, that's a significant number. And that's only the injuries that made it to the emergency room. What's most troubling about the research study is that a full 9 percent of injuries were traumatic brain injuries. Those are arguably the most serious injuries and could have been prevented by wearing a helmet.
What Type of Helmet Should You Chose for Sledding
We don't know of any helmet on the market specifically designed for sledding (there is certainly no set CPSC safety standard for sledding helmets). The jury is still out on whether a ski helmet, bicycle helmet, or hockey helmet is the best for the specific acceleration and impacts of a sledding collision. A children's ski helmet will both protect your child's head and help keep him or her warm. While a standard, multi-vented bicycle helmet won't do much to keep your child warm while sledding, it will offer significantly more protection than no helmet at all.
Where to Buy a Sledding Helmet
You can find both kids' ski/snowboard helmets and kids' bike helmets on our site. We have a number of parents on the XSportsProtective staff; our 12 collective kids range in age from 7 to 25. That's a lot of parenting experience under our belts. We know we can't protect our kids from every eventuality simply putting a layer of padding or a helmet on them.
Safe Sledding Tips
To that end, we've compiled the following list of Safe Sledding Tips:
- Know where you/your child are going to be sledding. Try to find a hill that you're familiar with. Are there drainage ditches, drains, poles, or other obstacles that might be hidden under the snow?
- Walk the hill before you sled down it so everyone in your party knows where there might be bumps, icy patches, or other rough spots.