How in the World Do I... Teach My Child to be a Safe Skier and Snowboarder?
One of the most stressful parts of skiing and snowboarding with kids (especially young children) is teaching them how to be safe. They can’t control how the other skiers and boards behave, but you can teach them to be smart and aware. Here is a simple list to get you started on having safe ski kids.
1. Teach them the Responsibility Code
Before you even get to the ski resort, review the NSAA’s Responsibility Code with your kids. Here’s a handy way to do that.
2. Teach them to BE AWARE
Remind them (constantly!!) to BE AWARE! And I don’t mean the typical kid “awareness” where they can’t find their lost shoe that’s literally 2 inch from their face. Make a game of it- how many skiers are above them? How many below? Are there any blue jackets? Pink helmets? Randomly ask questions to get them trained to SEE what’s around them. Who is around them and where are they going? This is one of the most critical parts of ski safety, especially with kids. Their default setting seems to be “unaware”, so it’s important to get them into the practice of being intentionally aware of their surroundings (just like crossing the street).
3. Teach them to Ski and Snowboard Predictably
Yeah, this one seems odd, but kids are the most unpredictable and weird little creatures. They randomly burst into song and dance (this only seems to increase as they hit the tween years, thank you tik-tok), they are easily distracted (squirrel!!), and they don’t think ahead. So teach them to make steady, even movements while skiing and boarding. Pick a location down the run, and make even, steady turns all the way down to that target spot. This will help other skiers and snowboarders have a better chance of avoiding collisions with them. It also helps your kid feel the rhythm of the turns.
4. Make them Visible
Even when you teach them to be aware, to follow the responsibility code, and to be predictable, they’re still small little people out there and they’re going to forget and be, well, kids. Make them highly visible so that the other skiers and snowboarders can see them and steer clear. We recommend the Kideaux Dragon Child Ski Visibility Pack- it’s not only fun to wear, your kid is impossible to miss!
Skiing and snowboarding with kids can be a safe and fun family activity. It’s our job to make sure our kids are learning to be safe while on the slopes. Give constant reminders, make safety fun, and be deliberate in making it a priority for them.
Have fun and we’ll see you on the slopes!