Click here for the BSA's Health and Safety web page which includes an online version of the Guide to Safe Scouting with a search engine, and a printable version.

Click here for the  Winter Activities section of the Guide to Safe Scouting which includes tips on winter camping and winter sports.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following safety guidelines to improve sledding safety:

  • Parents or adults must supervise children at all times while they are sledding.
  • Sled only in designated areas free of fixed objects such as trees, posts, and fences.
  • Do not sled on slopes that end in a street, drop-off, parking lot, river, or pond.
  • All participants must sit in a forward-facing position, steering with their feet or a rope tied to the steering handles of the sled. No one should sled headfirst down a slope.
  • To protect from injury, it is important to wear helmets, gloves, and layers of clothing.
  •   Do not sit/slide on plastic sheets or other materials that can be pierced by objects on the ground.
  •   Use a sled with runners and a steering mechanism, which is safer than toboggans or snow disks.
  • Sled in well-lighted areas when choosing evening activities.
  •   Individuals with pre-existing neurological problems may be at a higher risk for injury.

Please remember The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety , which embodies good judgment and common sense for all Scouting activities:

1.      Qualified Supervision

2.      Physical Fitness

3.      Buddy System

4.      Safe Area or Course

5.      Equipment Selection and Maintenance

6.      Personal Safety Equipment

7.      Safety Procedures and Policies

8.      Skill Level Limits

9.      Weather Check

10.  Planning

11.  Communication

12.  Permits and Notices

13.  First-Aid Resources

14.  Applicable Laws

15.  CPR Resources

16.  Discipline

The District of Columbia requires helmets for any person under age 16 while using roller skates, a skateboard, sled, coaster, toy vehicle, sidewalk bicycle, scooter, or any similar device. Massachusetts is considering legislation that would require children under 12 to wear a helmet during sledding, snowboarding, and ice-skating activities .