Boy's Tragic Death in Sledding Accident Will Make Every Parent Think Twice

boy sleddingWhen most parents send their kids out for an afternoon of sledding, they imagine lots of laughter, rosy cheeks, wet clothing, and demands for hot chocolate the moment they come bounding through the door.

Unfortunately, for Sean Urda, 17, from Long Island, New York, his snow day took a tragic turn when his inflatable tube struck a light pole and he was killed. 

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This poor boy was only doing what millions of kids were eagerly anticipating from the first mention that Winter Storm Juno would blanket the Northeast with snow. 

While I'm not a helicopter parent (though my kids may tell you otherwise), hearing this awful news reminded me of the first time my husband and I took our oldest to a big hill to go sledding. 

We were all so excited -- he had a new sled and couldn't wait to fly down the "mountain." We tucked in his arms and legs and gave him a proper send-off. Everything was going great until we realized he was headed straight for an enormous tree. Our shouts for him to "Jump off! Jump now!!" were lost in the wind and whoops of other sledders. How had we bundled him up and sent him off without ever telling him to roll off if he was about to hit another sledder or, much worse, an immovable object?

Thankfully, he hopped off the red disc seconds before it skidded into the tree and, with our knees weak, we breathed a sigh of relief. From that moment, I've thought about sending my kids sledding with helmets on, I'll admit it. They'd be mortified, yes, but would they be safer? Again, I have to think yes.

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Nowadays, kids roller and ice skate with helmets on -- why not sledding? Wearing a helmet might not have prevented this teen's death, but it's definitely worth considering. 

Does your child wear a helmet while sledding?  

 

Image © Eric Cote/shutterstock

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