Yesterday we looked at general cold weather tips for children. Today, we want to look at skiing and snowboarding safety tips.
1. Make sure that children know their limitations. Too many children, watching older, more experienced snowboarders and skiers want to imitate them. Make sure they learn that it takes time to become a good skier and that they should never attempt something until they have learned the basics that will allow them to move on to the next level.
2. In the same vein, make sure that children know when they are ready to graduate to the next level. Do not allow them to move from the bunny hill until they can demonstrate that they have complete control and can turn and stop whenever they want to. Too many accidents happen when a skier or snowboarder gets going too fast and has lost control.
3. Make sure that all of their equipment is checked annually by a qualified ski shop. Children grow up fast and bindings need to be adjusted to fit and release properly to avoid injury.
4. Never allow children (or adults, for that matter) to ski anywhere except in designated areas. “Hors Piste” is dangerous, no matter how old or experienced you are.
5. Never allow anyone to ski or snowboard alone. Always go in pairs or in groups. Teach children to watch out for each other.
6. Make sure that children wear warm clothing and protective gear. They might not think that it “looks cool” but they must be made aware of the necessity of the protective gear. Protective gear includes a helmet with side vents that allows them to hear properly, gloves or mittens, wrist guards if snowboarding and brightly colored clothing that keeps them from blending into the snow or background so that they are easily visible to others on the slopes.
Thursday we’ll look at snowmobiling and sledding safety.