Around 7,000 people are injured sledging every year. There are crashes and collisions with other people, rocks, trees and even vehicles. According to the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (bfu) the most common injuries resulting from collisions are skull and brain injuries, fractures and other injuries to the legs, feet and body.
Here are a few tips to help you maximise your sledging pleasure while staying safe:
- The ideal outfit for sledgers consists of sturdy boots with a good tread, winter clothing, gloves and a helmet.
- Special plastic attachments which fit over your boots and have a spiky sole and/or heel can provide extra grip in icy conditions. These are available from specialist suppliers.
- Leave your old wooden sledge at home and get yourself a new modern sledge (see picture). These are much easier to steer than the old-fashioned kind and therefore safer.
- You should not lie down on your sledge facing forwards.
- It is dangerous to join sledges together.
- You should never go faster than your skill level and the external conditions safely allow.
- It’s safest to use marked sledging runs. If there are no designated runs in your vicinity, try to find a slope with a flat run-off area.
- Do not go sledging if you have been drinking.
- Obey the bfu’s code of conduct for sledging.
If you have any further questions about your health, you can ask the doctors and medical staff at the sante24 health advice helpline for expert advice – free of charge, 24 hours a day. On request, sante24 can also make a doctor’s appointment for you. Tel. +41 (0)44 404 86 86