NC girl visiting Minn. dies in sledding accident

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A 10-year old girl visiting from North Carolina died Thursday after a sledding accident at her grandparents’ home in rural Dassel, the East Otter Tail Focus reports.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, emergency crews were called to a Dassel Township residence after an accident was reported at about 3:30 p.m. involving the homeowner's granddaughter, who was visiting from Fayetteville, N.C., the publication reported.

The girl was thrown from her sled when it hit a raised stump, according to Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin. She died later at a hospital, the newspaper reported.

Norlin told WCCO-TV that accidents like the one that killed the girl are rare, but when it happens it's "very tough, especially when we’re dealing with young people."

See WCCO-TV's report on the sledding tragedy below.

Meanwhile, an increase in sledding-related injuries over the past couple of weeks has prompted Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to give away helmets as part of an Injury Prevention Program, KARE 11 reports.

The program Friday handed out 100 free helmets at Lake Nokomis Park in Minneapolis.

Nationwide statistics say that an estimated 20,000 children in the U.S. are treated in emergency rooms for sledding-related injuries each year, and about 15 percent of those are head injuries -- many of them are brain trauma, KARE reports.

See KARE-TV's video on the Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program below.

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