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Sledging in childhood: just harmless fun?
  1. J G Cooper,
  2. J S Thomson,
  3. A J Cooper
  1. Department of Accident and Emergency, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr J G Cooper
 Department of Accident and Emergency, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN, UK;

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Sledging is one of the most enjoyed winter pastimes. In Britain the arrival of snow is usually heralded by an exodus of children to the local parks and hills. However, sledging can result in serious injury and attendance to the accident and emergency (A&E) department. Sledging accidents frequently involve children and can be fatal.1 The aim of this study was to establish the number of sledging related injuries presenting to our paediatric A&E department and to study the cause and patterns of these injuries to see if any preventative measures may reduce the number of accidents.


The first snow of the winter in our area lay on the ground from the 22 December 2001 to the 6 January 2002. During this period the attendances to our paediatric A&E department were identified from computer records. The A&E cards and hospital notes were then examined retrospectively to determine those injuries that occurred as a result of sledging accidents. These cases were then studied in greater detail to establish the mechanism and extent of injury in each instance and to try to ascertain what safety measures could be recommended to try to reduce morbidity.


During the 16 day study there were a total of 422 attendances at the paediatric A&E department. Of these 46 patients (10.9%) were identified as having suffered injuries as a result of sledging. There were 25 boys and 21 girls. The ages ranged from 2–13 years (mean 8.6 years) and …

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