Child Ski and Snowboard Safety- 5 Things To Do To Keep Your Kids Safe on the Slopes
Winter sports can be some of the most thrilling and memorable activities to enjoy with your kids. Taking your kids skiing and snowboarding can be the highlight of the winter season. But skiing has its dangers and as parents, we want to keep our kids safe yet still expose them to fun activities. Here is a handy list of 5 things you can do as a parent to keep your kids safe when skiing and snowboarding. Whether they’re toddlers learning to ski or pre-teens, newbs or competent riders, teaching safe skiing for kids is important so that we can all enjoy the mountain. Teach it and model it. Lifetime habits start with demonstration and our kids are watching us!
1. Teach Them the Responsibility Code.
Before hitting the slopes, talk about the Responsibility Code that the NSAA has developed. You can find it online, but also at the base of the resort. Check out this post here for tips on how to teach your kids the Code. #knowthecode
2. Wear Ski Helmets.
This can’t be stressed enough. Don’t be a Jerry, helmet up. Everyone. Helmet usage on the ski slopes has been shown to reduce catastrophic head injuries over the years. And kids are more likely to engage in safe practices when they are normalized by their parents. Your brain is just as important as your kids’, so everyone needs a brain bucket. Don't know how to size it? Check out our helmet sizing tips here.
3. Make Your Kids Visible.
Kids are inherently small (did I really even need to point that out?) and unpredictable. They’re much harder to see on the ski slopes than you’d think. No matter how bright you make their coat or helmet or pants, they’re not easy to spot from far away. This makes them much more prone to being involved in collisions. We recommend that children under age 10 wear a Kideaux Dragon. Its bright and reflective wings make kids visible from much farther away, which makes skiers and boarders up the slope aware of them much sooner, which allows them to give the kids space and avoid surprise collisions.
4. Teach Them To Be Aware.
It’s not enough to just make your child more visible to others, make sure you are teaching them safe skiing practices. Constantly remind them to look around and be aware of other skiers and snowboarders. Kids are not always consistent with this concept (how many times have you had to tell them to look before crossing the street?), but we have to keep teaching them. Awareness and visibility will go a long way towards preventing collisions with other skiers and boarders.
5. Don’t Overdo It and Ski Tired.
Take lots of breaks and when you see that your kids are tired, call it a day. Most injuries happen towards the end of the day when we get tired and our reflexes and mental reactions slow down. If your kiddos are insisting on that one more run, make it a short run on the front, lower side of the mountain. It’s better to end the day on the high note of a successful day of runs than with an injury. Kids always seem to think they have enough energy left, so pay attention to the signs of fatigue and call it when you see it.
There are so many little things to teach and show our kids to make the ski day a success, but just paying attention to these 5 things will go a long way towards keeping them safe on the slopes. A family ski day should be a fun and lasting memory, filled with excitement for the next trip. Not a horror tale filled with injuries and medical bills. Stay safe and we’ll see you on the slopes!