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Sledding and TBI in the News - featured December 6, 2010

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[Source: MSNBC]

It’s a thrill as old as the hills: a kid, a sled and a snowy slope.

But as early-season storms continue to wallop the nation this month, researchers warn that the traditional wintry slide actually carries some pretty serious risks.

Whether they’re gliding on plain plastic saucers or high-tech snow tubes, children and teens on sleds account for at least 20,820 injuries in the United States each year, according to a first-ever analysis of U.S. emergency room reports.

“I want them to go sledding, I want them to have fun, but we could do a better job,” said Lara McKenzie, principal investigator for the Center on Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, who led the study. “Twenty thousand injuries a year for an activity you can only do a couple days a year is big.”

Overall, McKenzie and her colleagues estimated that nearly 230,000 children and teens age 19 and younger were treated for sledding injuries in emergency departments between 1997 and 2007. Their work was published in a recent issue of the journal Pediatrics.

“This is a small slice of a much larger pie,” said McKenzie, who figures that the numbers actually are higher because many sledding injuries never make it to the emergency room.

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Tags: News of the Week TBI Newsletter 10 December 2010