This is a snow day of our nightmares.
We are sad to report that on Saturday an unnamed 16-year-old girl was killed during a sledding accident in upstate New York. A three-year-old boy was also involved in the incident, but was later released from the hospital.
The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office announced the accident in a press release over the weekend. Having responded to a 911 call at 10 a.m. local time, the police arrived after the accident had occurred. They rushed the children to John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, but the teenager was pronounced dead en route. The toddler suffered some unspecified injuries that were treated upon arrival, and he was allowed to go home later that day.
The duo were reportedly “riding a sledding tube when they struck a tree at the bottom of the hill.” Truly devastating. The site at Clyde L. Burmaster Park is now closed for investigation.
While sledding has long been a favorite pastime for children on snowy days, a recent December 2020 study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital discovered that 220,488 patients were treated in US emergency rooms for sledding injuries between 2008 and 2017. We knew this activity could be a little risky, but that is a much higher number than we would have guessed!
Unsurprisingly, 70 percent of those patients were under 19 years old. Additionally, the study found that kids are almost seven times more likely to suffer injuries when sledding than adults. Again, a finding that doesn’t shock us considering children are way more likely to plummet down a snow-covered hill than adults, but it is still a staggeringly high number of cases that has us concerned for our kiddos’ safety!
A major shoutout to the essential workers of the Pekin Fire Company and Tri Community Ambulance who responded to this emergency. And may this teenage girl rest in peace. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family during this tragic time!
What are your tips for keeping kids uninjured while still having fun in the snow, Perezcious readers?? Would it be better to treat this activity like a sport and require helmets or other protective gear be worn? Or do accidents, as awful as they are, just happen randomly? Share your thoughts in the comments (below)…