OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Intermountain Health trauma experts and Lone Peak Fire Department promote safe sledding practices

Jan 27, 2024, 8:00 PM

Fresh snowfall means sledding and other winter sports. That's why Intermountain American Fork Hospi...

Sledders get instruction and safety tips from experts at Tibble Fork Reservoir, a popular sledding spot in American Fork Canyon. Saturday, January 27, 2024. (Intermountain Health Trauma)

(Intermountain Health Trauma)

SALT LAKE CITY — Fresh snowfall means sledding and other winter sports. That’s why Intermountain American Fork Hospital trauma caregivers and the Lone Peak Fire Department have united to advocate for winter sports safety, particularly in sledding.

On Saturday, experts from both organizations conducted an awareness event at Tibble Fork Reservoir, a popular spot in American Fork Canyon.

Experts distributed helmets, provided safety demonstrations, and shared information on sledding precautions to address the rise in sledding-related injuries.

According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report, approximately 12,470 individuals sought emergency treatment for injuries related to toboggans, sleds, and snow discs nationwide last year.

Mckyliee Young shared a tubing experience when she was 19 years old. She said that the tube flipped backward, and she crashed at the bottom of the hill. The collision left her with skull, spine, scapula, and collarbone fractures, with an additional 21 ribs that also broke. 

Her recovery has included many surgeries

“Take sledding seriously. It’s not just a kid activity,” said Young.

Common injuries received while sledding are sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures, and head injuries.

“Studies have found that increased helmet usage rate has led to a decline in the number of serious head injuries,” said John Wennergren, MD, trauma director for Intermountain American Fork Hospital. “However, a helmet doesn’t protect your head if it’s not worn and secured.”

Experts said that if sledders experience symptoms such as blurred vision, headache, slurred speech, and confusion, they should seek immediate medical attention even if symptoms initially seem mild.

Related:

Community comes together for Utah teen critically injured in sledding accident

Fatal sledding accident spurs safety concerns

Utah family devastated after high school senior killed in tubing accident

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Intermountain Health trauma experts and Lone Peak Fire Department promote safe sledding practices