What is being done about sledding conditions at Milwaukee park where boy was injured?

Keller Russell

What is being done about sledding conditions at Milwaukee park where boy was injured?

CREATED Feb. 11, 2013

MILWAUKEE - A mother places blame after her son was critically hurt in a sledding accident.

The boy slammed into a tree while sledding at Wilson Park. We brought his mother's safety concerns to the county parks department.

“My concern is the hill is not set up correctly,” said Carrie Cianciola. “It’s not safe.”

Cianciola asked us to investigate the safety of Wilson Park's sledding hill after her 10-year-old son, Eli, hit a tree on his sled. It fractured his skull, pierced his lung and caused bleeding on his brain.

“There should have been a fence there, hay bales, there should have been something protecting the sledders,” she said.

We took those suggestions to the safety and security manager of Milwaukee County Parks, John Nelson.

“Hay bales and fencing have been done in prior years,” said Nelson. “And we determined that they really weren't that effective. We at the parks removed them and we haven't had any incidents until now.”

Nelson said those things actually become safety hazards themselves. Hay bales become rock hard when they get wet and freeze. And fencing can entangle sledders. Nelson maintains the hill is safe. Carrie Cianciola disagrees as she looks at her son in this condition.

“Trees that are even on the edges,” she said. “If they are close to where kids could be, then its not safe.”

Doctors recommend children wear helmets while sledding. Any helmet is better than none, but they suggest a "skiing" helmet. As for Eli, his condition is improving.

 

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