Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh warns of sledding dangers
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh officials on Sunday cautioned against the dangers of a favorite wintertime activity upon the death of a Westmoreland County teen in a sledding accident.
Jenna Prusia, 16, of Washington Township died Friday from head injuries because a sled she rode with her sister crashed into a tree on private property along McCreary Road, authorities said. She was taken by medical helicopter to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she died, the Medical Examiner's Office said.
“Sledding has this connotation of innocence — fresh snow, rosy-faced kids going down hills on their sleds,” said Dr. Barbara Gaines, director of trauma and injury prevention at Children's. “My kids and I went sledding just yesterday. But you have to recognize that there is a potential for harm.”
After a heavy snowfall, hospital officials regularly treat 10 to 20 youngsters with sledding injuries, she said.
“Generally we can tell whether it's snowed over the weekend by looking at the number of kids who come in with sledding injuries,” she said.
Some suffer broken bones — an inconvenient injury, she said, but one that will mend. Others suffer brain trauma, which can be far more serious and lead to long-term health problems, Gaines said. She recommended sledders wear helmets.
“I liken sleds to bicycles,” she said. “We see very similar injuries with the two.”
Gaines encouraged parents to scout out a sledding hill for potential hazards before allowing children to ride down.
“Make sure there are no trees and that the kids won't get enough momentum where they'll slide into a road,” she said. “The biggest issues we see are kids hitting trees or sliding into roads and getting hit by cars.”
Prusia was an 11th grade student at Kiski Area High School. She was an honor student, played in the Kiski Area Concert Band and was a member of the girls volleyball team.
Her family could not be reached. In Prusia's obituary, her twin sister, Ashton, described her as “brave, funny, outgoing, spirited, loving, kind and beautiful. My best friend. My other half.”
Chris Togneri is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5632 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hempfield woman seriously injured in crash
- Former Jeannette coach held for trial on charges of assault on teen girls
- Hempfield bicyclist gets one last chance from Westmoreland County judge
- Urgent care center planned in Donegal Township
- Purple Heart recipient Krinock to lead July Fourth parade in Latrobe
- Independence Day events for Westmoreland County
- State Supreme Court rejects latest Foxley Farm appeal in Ligonier Township dispute
- Smithton man gets 6-12 years for robbery in Jeannette
- Group takes veterans, seniors in WWII-era planes at Unity airport
- 3 injured in crash that ties up Route 22 in Salem for nearly 8 hours
- Greensburg’s Trinity United Church of Christ sprucing up