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Some cities are banning sledding

More and more cities in the U.S. are banning sledding in public parks because of concerns about lawsuits and liability.

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Winter is here, and so is the snow.

If you’re like me, you think there are very few enjoyable aspects of snow. Yes, it looks pretty. Yes, you can build snowmen and have snowball fights. Yes, you can go sledding...but not in all cities.

More and more cities in the U.S. are banning sledding in public parks because of concerns about lawsuits and liability. The latest city to ban the fun winter activity is Dubuque, Iowa. Their city council is planning to ban sledding in all but two of its 50 parks.

"We have all kinds of parks that have hills on them," Marie Ware, Dubuque's leisure services manager, told the Associated Press. "We can't manage the risk at all of those places."

Dubuque’s city council referenced various lawsuits in their reasoning behind the ban, such as a $2 million settlement t against Omaha, Nebraska, when a 5-year-old girl was paralyzed after hitting a tree and a $2.75 million settlement when a man in Sioux City, Iowa injured his spinal cord after sliding into a sign.

Between 1997 and 2007, more than 20,000 kids were treated in emergency rooms for sledding injuries in the U.S., according to a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Among the injuries, fractures were the most common injury (26 percent), followed by bruises and abrasions (25 percent) and cuts and sprains (16 percent). The head was found to be the most frequently hurt body part, with more than 9 percent sustaining traumatic brain injuries.

Other cities that have banned or restricted sledding include Montville, New Jersey; Columbia City, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; and Lincoln, Nebraska.

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