A friend who was noodling around the AccuWeather site today found a blog post, “Why Have Midwestern Towns Banned a Beloved Winter Pastime?”
The piece, which seems like it might just sit in a slush pile on AccuWeather’s newsdesk and await recycling every snow season, discusses a few horrible sledding injury lawsuits that drained the coffers of Omaha, Nebraska and Sioux City, Iowa. Then it adds:
According to a study from The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, more than 20,000 Americans younger than age 19 receive treatment for sledding-related injuries each year.
To ensure safety, the group suggests that parents ensure all sledding equipment is in good condition, with no cracks or sharp edges.
The council also suggests selecting “spacious, gently sloping hills with a level run-off at the end so the sled can safely stop” and to inspect the slopes prior to check for gaps, fences or anything else that could obstruct the ride. It also warns against sledding near frozen bodies of water.
[D]o not leave children under the age of 10 to sled unattended.
And buy sleds with brakes and steering mechanisms:
[T]hey’re very much worth the investment.”
Turning a sickly shade of green with pointy fingers and an evil grin, I must now rant about everything that is wrong about this article, this advice, this country, and (go big or go to Whoville) this world. What is Grinch-ifying me?