Sledding safety - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sledding safety

Madison (WKOW) -- Believe it or not, when your kids are careening down hills like the popular sledding spot at Elver Park, sleds can reach speeds as fast as 35 miles per hour.

Sledding, statistically, is actually quite dangerous.

The National Safety Council estimates 33,000 children end up in hospitals each winter as a result of sledding injuries.

As a result, there's a growing chorus of anxious parents and doctors calling for increased safety.  One of their solutions: sledding helmets.

"That's probably a good idea," said Madison parent Kip Rieder, who took his two children to Elver Park on Tuesday morning.  "Especially as the snow gets harder and more icy."

Rieder says he saw other children wearing plastic safety helmets on the hill, but he didn't buy any for his kids.

Some kids we met at Elver Park didn't like the idea.

"It would be really obnoxious," said one girl sledding with a group of her friends.

Obnoxious or not, Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain will likely always want his daughter to wear one.  His daughter slammed into a tree two years ago and ended up in the emergency room.

"She broke her orbital bone," said DeSpain. "She had a catscan, was bleeding on the brain.  For many hours it looked like things were touch and go."

DeSpain's daughter made a full recovery, and likely, also learned a very important lesson.

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