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Sledding Safety & Accident Prevention in New York

Sledding and tobogganing are winter recreation activities enjoyed by many children and adults in New York City. In addition to favorite neighborhood sledding sites, the New York City parks and recreation department identifies more than two dozen sledding opportunities in NYC parks.

At the same time, there are inherent risks in sledding. The NYC code holds that property owners in most cases are not required to ensure the safety of the premises used for sledding and similar activities.

Because each case is different, at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., we encourage anyone seriously hurt in a sledding accident to discuss their case with an experienced personal injury lawyer from our firm.

To avoid accidents in the first place, please review and share the tips for safe winter sledding that we provide below.

Prepare and Supervise Children for Safe Sledding

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were more than 18,000 injuries related to sleds, toboggans, snow discs, etc., in 2012. Sledding injuries often include facial lacerations or skull fractures, the National Safety Council (NSC) says. Tobogganing injuries almost always involve the lower half of the body.

Most injuries happen to children age 14 and younger, especially in the “run out” area at the end of the sled run, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports.

The NSC and the AAOS offer these tips for safe winter sledding:

  • Keep all equipment in good condition. Broken parts, sharp edges, cracks and split wood can cause injuries.
  • Sleds with runners and a steering mechanism are safer than toboggans or snow discs. Do not sled on plastic sheets. They cannot be steered and can be pierced by sharp objects.
  • Wear layers of clothing, thick gloves or mittens, and protective boots for warmth and to guard against potential injury. Young children should wear a fitted helmet while sledding.
  • Avoid steep slopes and slopes with bare spots, holes and other obstructions that might cause injury. Do not sled on or around frozen lakes, streams or ponds because the ice may be unstable.
  • Sled on spacious, gently sloping hills where there are no trees, posts, fences, crossing-roads with traffic or other obstacles in the sledding path. The sled run must not end in a street, drop off, parking lot or other hazard.
  • Make sure there is a level run-off at the end of the run so that the sled can come to a halt safely, and that there is room for sledders to walk up the hill out of the path of sleds headed down the slope.
  • Supervise children. Avoid collisions by making sure there are not too many sledders on the hill at the same time or at the end of the run.
  • The proper position for sledding is to sit or lie on your back on the top of the sled with your feet pointing downhill, and steering with your feet or a rope tied to the steering handles of the sled. Sledding head first increases the risk of head injury and should be avoided.

Call a NYC Personal Injury Lawyer About a Sledding Accident

Any accident that results in serious injury should be investigated by qualified individuals looking out for the injury victim’s interests. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a sledding or tobogganing accident in New York City, the attorneys of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can investigate to determine whether another party should be held liable.

Call us today or use our online contact form to set up a free review of your accident and the legal options available to you.


  • CPSC – National Electronic Injury Surveillance System
  • NSC – Tips for Safer Sledding and Tobogganing
  • AAOS – Sledding Injury Prevention

David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care. He wanted to help everyday folks who have had the misfortune to be injured in an accident.

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