November 16, 2023, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
SickKids Hospital reports that although most of the tobogganing injuries they see annually are ‘benign, including sprains and soft tissue injuries, there are broken bones, and rarely severe injuries including impalements or TBI (traumatic brain injuries). You can read their full summary here on the state of care. Today we’ll cover the activity and how you can stay safe while having fun outside in the winter.
Tobogganing is a popular winter activity in Canada, and for good reason. The thrill of racing down snow-covered slopes, the crisp winter air, and the laughter of friends and family make it an enjoyable outdoor pastime. However, amidst all the excitement, it's essential to be aware of the potential dangers associated with tobogganing and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and fun experience.
Sliding into Traffic - A Serious Concern
One of the most significant risks associated with tobogganing, especially in urban areas like Ontario, is the possibility of sliding into traffic. Many tobogganing enthusiasts often choose slopes near roadways for convenience, but this can lead to dangerous situations. Sliding into traffic is a real concern, and the consequences can be severe.
To mitigate this risk, it's crucial to select tobogganing locations carefully. Always choose designated hills or parks with dedicated tobogganing areas, far away from busy streets. Before sliding down a slope, scout the area for any potential hazards like roads, trees, or obstacles that could be in your path. By being vigilant about the location, you can significantly reduce the risk of unintentional encounters with traffic.
Protecting Your Head - Helmets Are a Must
Helmets are essential when it comes to safe tobogganing. Head injuries can have serious and long-lasting consequences. It's crucial to remember that accidents can happen, and a helmet can make a significant difference in preventing head injuries.
When choosing a helmet for tobogganing, opt for one designed for winter sports. These helmets provide better insulation and coverage. Ensure that the helmet fits snugly but comfortably, with the chinstrap securely fastened. Be a role model for children by wearing your helmet and insisting that they do too. Safety starts with setting the right example.
General Safety Tips for Tobogganing
1. Dress for the Weather: Wearing the right clothing is essential. Dress in layers to stay warm, and don't forget waterproof and insulated gloves to keep your hands comfortable during all that snow play.
2. Use Proper Toboggans: Choose a toboggan that is designed for the activity. Avoid using items like plastic sheets or improvised sleds, as they can be unstable and less safe.
3. Sit or Lie Down: When tobogganing, always sit or lie down on the sled. Standing up or trying to steer with your feet can lead to accidents.
4. Supervise Children: If you're with children, always supervise them while tobogganing. Teach them the importance of safety rules and proper tobogganing techniques.
5. Avoid Crowded Slopes: Overcrowded slopes can increase the risk of collisions and accidents. Choose less busy times or find quieter locations to enjoy your tobogganing experience.
6. Check the Condition of the Hill: Inspect the tobogganing hill for ice patches, rocks, or other hazards before starting your descent. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
7. Follow Hill Etiquette: Respect other tobogganers and their space on the hill. Wait your turn, and be considerate of others to avoid collisions.
8. Toboggan sober. Enough said.
Tobogganing - A Fun Outdoor Activity
Despite the potential dangers, tobogganing is undeniably a fun and exhilarating winter activity that brings people together. The thrill of sliding down a snow-covered hill is a unique experience that many Canadians cherish. With the right precautions, you can ensure that your tobogganing adventure remains a source of joy for you and your loved ones.
By selecting safe locations, wearing appropriate gear, and following general safety guidelines, you can enjoy the winter wonderland of Ontario with peace of mind. Remember, safety always comes first, but there's no reason not to make the most of the snowy season.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a toboggoning accident due to someone else's negligence contact one of our experienced persoanl injury lawyers today for afree initial consultation.