Metro area hospitals have treated at least 12 people for sledding-related injuries over the last couple of weeks, WCCO reports. The jump is likely due to more sledders taking advantage of the recent snowfall, but it also prompts an important warning for kids and parents.
A 10-year study published in PEDIATRICS shows there was an average of 20,000 sledding-related injuries treated per year between 1997 and 2007. About 34 percent of the injuries were head injuries.
Experts say helmets on sledders can reduce that rate much like helmets on bike riders have, KARE 11 reports. A team from Children's Hospital, who's also seen an increase in injured sledders, visited Lake Nokomis Park Friday to hand out free helmets.
"If you look at the injury curve from the 1980s to the 2000s, the injury-related deaths in kids have gone down dramatically because of things like bike helmets," said program leader Kristi Moline.
Deaths related to sledding aren't that uncommon. A 10-year-old girl from North Carolina was killed in Meeker County Thursday after her sled hit a raised stump and she was ejected. The girl was in Minnesota visiting her grandparents.
It's unclear if she suffered head injuries.