Sledding in Minnesota: Do it, but don't die

People are going all-out sledding this winter, but hospitals are flipping out about the amount of sledders who end up in the Emergency Room. Don't make a day of sledding a death sentence! 

HCMC has some smart tips on how to stay safe on the icy slopes. Beware: HCMC wants your sledding to be boring and sober.

According to the Star Tribune, Hennepin County Medical Center has seen 13 patients for serious sledding injuries so far. That's more than twice as many as all of 2007. 

Here is some advice from HCMC (we've highlighted our favorites): 

-Choose designated sledding hills with a gentle slope and long run-off area; avoid steep hills 
-Avoid ice-covered hills 
-Stay away from roads, lakes, rivers, heavily wooded areas, parking lots, etc. 
-Make sure the sliding area is free of obstacles 
-Be aware of others sliding on the hill 
-Dress appropriately - layers are best because they can also help "cushion" any falls and wear a helmet 
-Don't pile too many people on one sled 
-Always ride on the sled sitting and facing forward 
-Avoid jumps or piles of snow that can cause a sled to become airborne 
-Children under 12 should be supervised by an adult 
-Children under 5 should be accompanied by an adult on the sled 
-Don't "drink and sled," alcohol use and sledding do not mix! 
-Seek medical attention if you suspect an injury 

LAME! Rules spoils all the fun. We like to live on the wild side.