Safety with sledding, parents keep watch

Tri-State kids enjoy 1st winter storm

HARRISON, Ohio - The snow may have made roads treacherous to drive, but it was perfect for getting out of the house. Kids came out for some sledding in Harrison, Ohio while parents were stationed along the hill to help provide fun and safety.

While a number of homeowners and neighbors were clearing their driveways and drivers cautiously kept their cars on the road, children were more concerned about fun.

There were three parents along the sledding route. A dad was at the top of the hill providing shoves to get the children started, a mom was standing guard next to the corner of a house to make sure the kids did not run into the poured concrete foundation wall, and Travis Torrence was at the bottom of the run. He was either giving the sled a boost to keep the kids going, or guiding the kids toward a blow-up raft that was being used as a ramp.

"It makes a mess of everything else, but if you play in it, it's great," said Torrence.

The top parent was giving the kids the option of a "regular" push or a "slingshot" push. The "regular" was the good old fashioned shove, but the "slingshot" involved the dad winding and contorting his body 180 degrees and lashing the sledders down the hill as if he was an Olympian discuss thrower.

The mom, Rhonda Benedict, stood along the route to protect the kids from ramming into the wall. She was being called the bumper.

"Before the snow was packed they were about to hit the foundation," said Benedict. "So I stood here and I pushed them out."

The sledding began with about five families storming down the hill. More kids from other streets were hiking cross country through backyards and along freshly shoveled sidewalks. Eventually the adults began to tire and that is when the children began using option number three to get started. They either ran and jumped onto the sled or sat down and scooted while using their hands as paddles.

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