Slippery slope of safety
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following safety guidelines for sledding: EParents or adults supervise children. - Sled in designated areas free of fixed objects such as trees and posts. - Don't sled on slopes that end...
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following safety guidelines for sledding:
EParents or adults supervise children.
- Sled in designated areas free of fixed objects such as trees and posts.
- Don't sled on slopes that end in a street, drop-off, parking lot, river or pond.
ESit facing forward and steer with feet or a rope tied to the sled's steering handles.
- Wear a helmet, gloves and layers of clothing.
- Don't slide on plastic sheets or other materials that can be pierced by objects on the ground.
- Use a sled with runners and a steering mechanism, which is safer than toboggans or snow disks.
- Sled in well-lit areas at night.
Christopher Deal, 12, and his sister, Carly, 11, had one of Fargo-Moorhead's winter hot spots nearly all to themselves earlier this week.
Their mother, Julie Deal of Fargo, watched while they and some friends hauled their sleds up a slick, snow-covered hill at Edgewood Golf Course.
"I think they'd come out here every day if they could," Julie Deal said.
A solid snow cover since late November has led to a busy winter at Fargo's two official sledding hills - Edgewood and the Dike West. This follows two consecutive winters in which sledding at the Dike began late or was temporarily closed due to lack of snow.
"It's been wonderful," said Dave Klundt, assistant director of recreation for Fargo Parks and Recreation. "January first, you couldn't get a parking spot at Edgewood."
Emergency responders have reported few injuries despite the bigger crowds.
Wade Mitzel, clinical supervisor of FM Ambulance, said he knew of one fracture and one sprain. One of those accidents happened at the Dike, the other at Edgewood, he said.
Assistant Fargo Fire Chief Dean Meyer made a quick check of runs for his department but didn't find any serious injuries at either location.
Both sites are staffed with concessions during sledding hours: 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 8:30 p.m. on weekends.
Edgewood, unlike the Dike, doesn't have a hay bale-lined walkway for sledders to climb up the hill for a couple of reasons, Klundt said. The hay causes a mess in the springtime for the golf course, and Edgewood already has a walkway and hand railing beside its sledding hill.
The only problem, Klundt said, is that "a lot of people don't want to have to take the extra 20 steps to walk up there."
As an extra precaution, maintenance workers visit both sledding sites about once a week with a Bobcat to smooth out the landing areas. The practice began last year and seems to have reduced the number of serious injuries, Klundt said.
"Some kids intentionally go out and try to build mounds," Klundt said. "We do our best to tear them down."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Forster at (701) 241-5538