Winter tobogganing in Ottawa ….
Most schools are out tomorrow for the holidays and that means children will be looking for activities. What’s on the top of my3 kid’s list? Tobogganing ! Ottawa has an abundance of hills open for tobogganing. While it’s a great sport and very fun, it is also a sport that has it’s fair share of serious injuries. Each year hundreds of people are injured and many require medical attention. The City of Ottawa has a wealth of information related to tobogganing in Ottawa. Please check out their website.
Youth between the ages of 5-9 make up for 40 % of toboggan related injuries in Canada. A number of these injuries result in concussions, internal injuries or broken bones. (Statistics: Canadian Hospital’s Injury Reporting Prevention Program). Most injuries are caused by hitting another object such as a tree, a rock, a sign or from being thrown from the toboggan with force.
We are not trying to be alarmists, we simply want to remind everyone that tobogganing can be enjoyed; however, a few safety steps can be put in place before your children head off to the hills.
We’ve scoured various websites and here are a few suggestions on how to try as much as possible to prevent injuries.
Help keep your tobogganing safe by….
- Checking weather conditions before you head out.
- Checking the physical condition of the hill to make sure it is safe. Check for hazards.
- Make sure the slope of the hill isn’t too steep or fast.
- Do not toboggan in dark areas where visibility is limited.
- Always wear a CSA approved helmet.
- Always sit facing forward.
- Keep your hands, arms and legs inside the toboggan and do not use your arms to break.
- Do not wear scarfs and make sure all strings on hats and mits are tied up. Any loose clothing could catch and become a hazard.
- When tobogganing , go one at a time, do not follow closely behind another toboggan.
- Children under the age of 5 should not be on a toboggan by themselves as they cannot control it.
- Teach your children that once they reach the bottom of the hill, they must quickly and carefully get to the side and be watching for oncoming sledders.
- Teach your children to safely climb back up the hill on the sides.
Have a great, safe holiday season and have fun tobogganing !