Sledding safety tips to keep in mind while hitting the slopes

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Sledding fun (Courtesy of Getty Images)

FISHERS, Ind. — The fresh blanket of snow means a lot of Hoosiers will go sledding for the first time this season.

The Fishers Police Department is sharing some safety tips to keep in mind as you head out.

  • Don’t sled towards a building.
  • Don’t walk up the sledding hill
  • Don`t use a metal sled
  • Don’t leave behind any trash, what comes in with you, goes home with you.

While you are outside sledding, the National Weather Service reminds you to watch out for frostbite and hypothermia by knowing the signs to look out for.

Frostbite can happen within minutes. If people suspect frostbite, they should head to a heated location and begin warming up using warm water or body heat, seeking medical attention for severe frostbite. Indicators for frostbite include

  • First degree: Ice crystals are forming on your skin.
  • Second degree: Skin begins to feel warm even though it is not yet defrosted.
  • Third degree: Skin turns red, pale or white.
  • Fourth degree: Pain lasts for more than a few hours and skin may develop dark blue or black. See a doctor immediately if these symptoms arise. Gangrene is a real threat.

Hypothermia can happen even in temperatures as warm as 60° F, particularly in water if outside for a long time not dressed for the weather. The NWS says hypothermia kills about 1,300 people every year. To prevent hypothermia, the NWS suggests the following tips:

  • Dress in layers.
  • Wrap up well when going outside in the cold.
  • Avoid breezes and drafts indoors.
  • Eat nutritious food and wear warm clothes to ward off winter chill.
  • Wear a warm hat in the winter.
  • Eat hot foods and drink warm drinks several times during the day.
  • If you live alone, ask a family member or neighbor to check on you daily or have a camera installed that a family member can view on their computer.
  • Ask your doctor if any medicine you’re taking increases your risk of hypothermia. Drugs that may cause a problem include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, chlorpromazine, reserpine, and tricyclic antidepressants.

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