Safety tips

  • Inspect your toboggan to ensure it’s in good condition.
  • Use only proper sliding equipment with good brakes and steering. Inner tubes and plastic discs are not recommended because they are difficult to control.
  • Dress warmly. Many tobogganing injuries are cold-related, such as frostbite and hypothermia.
  • The safest position to be in while tobogganing is kneeling or sitting up. Sliding on your stomach, headfirst, offers the least protection from a head injury. Laying flat on the back increases the risk of injuring the spine or spinal cord.
  • Look out for others – move quickly to the side and walk up and away from the sliding path after finishing a run.
  • Wear a ski helmet as head injuries while sledding can be serious. A ski helmet is recommended because they are designed for use in cold weather and for similar falls and speeds. A hockey helmet may also be used.

Choose a safe environment

  • Ensure the hill is free of hazards – trees, rocks, bumps, fences and bare spots. Avoid ice-covered areas.
  • Ensure the hill is away from roads, rivers or railroads and that there is plenty of room to stop at the bottom of the hill.
  • Look for a hill that is not too steep (less than 30 degrees is recommended for children) and has a long, clear runoff area.

Considerations for children

  • Heat loss is particularly significant in children under age three because their heads account for a larger proportion of their overall body size. Children should be dressed warmly in layers.
  • After tobogganing, children should get out of wet clothes and boots quickly to prevent frostbite.
  • Young children should always be supervised by an adult. They should never toboggan alone.
  • Children should not toboggan at night.