The problem isn’t that people get hurt, it is that parents won’t take responsibility for themselves or their children if injury occurs. Employ personal safety measures and don’t be quick to point the finger of blame. Anyone that files a claim against the city for a sledding mishap likely has ulterior motives in mind — money.

The winter months are going to feel a lot longer for Iowa kids who have been banned from a cold weather right of passage, allegedly for their own protection, but it’s more likely being implemented to protect the city from lawsuit.

The City Council in Dubuque is moving forward with a plan to ban sledding in 48 of the town’s 50 parks, as the risk of injury outweighs a child’s freedom to careen down a slippery slope. Faced with the potential financial burden from sledding injuries, some cities have opted to close hills rather than risk large liability claims.

“We have all kinds of parks that have hills on them,” said Marie Ware, Dubuque’s leisure services manager. “We can’t manage the risk at all of those places.”

At this point, Ware’s job title is questionable, since she’s not managing “leisure,” rather she’s removing it altogether. Although council members lamented the move when they met on the issue, they ultimately concluded that liability concerns and demands from the city’s insurance carrier outweighed kids having fun and parents being responsible for the risk — not blaming an injury on a city.

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