guide to keeping children safe on the ski slopes
Posted on March 9th, 2012
Learning to ski paves the way for a lifetime of enjoyment for your children – but if youngsters are not protected properly on the slopes, accidents can cause a loss of confidence as well as injuries.
- Choose a resort with a high proportion of wide blue and green runs. That ensures relatively new young skiers are well served, and such resorts tend to attract fewer “speed demons.”
- Before you book ski school lessons, check the instructor-to-child ratio of classes. In general, ten children to one instructor should be seen as a maximum.
- Make sure your children know the basics of the International Skiing Federation Rules of Conduct. These include requirements to control speed, respect for other mountain users and overtaking guidelines. You can read the full code at www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/infoandadvice/article.aspx?articleID=97
- Choose ski clothing and equipment carefully. Combining good-quality protective clothing with correctly-fitted boots and skis will help make sure your children are raring to get back on the slope even after a tumble. Long-lasting ski jackets, ski pants and ski gloves are excellent value because they can keep youngsters warm and snug at home as well as on holiday.
- Invest in a helmet for your child – in many resorts it is the law. Little Terra has a range of fun, funky and functional designs from brands such as Scott and Manbi.
- Novelty helmet covers are a great way of making sure kids love wearing their safety gear, and they help you pick them out in a crowd or on the slope. Little Terra has fun little devil, butterfly and flame designs.
- In most cases, helmets are best used with goggles. Whether your child wears goggles or sunglasses, though, make sure eyewear blocks 100 per cent of harmful UV/UVA/UVB and UVC rays. Look for anti-fog treatments – you don’t want your children to have impeded vision because of steamed up goggles. We have a great range, including products from Loubsol and Scott. Scott’s goggles come with hypoallergenic foam for a precise and comfortable fit.
- No matter what the weather, always apply high-factor sun protection cream and lip balm to your children. Sunlight is very strong at high altitudes and the danger of burning is increased by reflection from the snow. Re-apply cream and balm frequently. If your child is in ski school and too young to reapply themselves, ask the instructor to do it for them.
- Travelling at speed is one of the attractions of skiing for children and adults alike. Make sure youngsters are aware that increased speed leads to increased risk. Tell them to slow down on crowded slopes, if they are tired or if visibility is reduced. They should also slow down on narrow runs, around blind corners and over drop-offs.
- Consider investing in teaching aids designed specifically to keep young and inexperienced skiers safe. A children’s ski harness or ski trainer, for example, eliminates the inconvenience of skiing with a child between your legs. The harness fits around the child, and long reins at the back give freedom to the youngster and piece of mind to the adult. A grab handle on the harness makes it much easier to get kids back on their feet after a tumble
Check out Edgie Wedgies – easily-removable ski-tip clips that keep your child’s skis in the snowplough position and eliminate the danger of tips crossing.
- Make sure your children drink plenty of water. Dehydration will make them feel tired, increasing the chance of accidents, and aches at the end of the day will be more noticeable.
- Pop some sweets into your children’s pockets at the start of the day to keep energy levels up. Chocolate can melt easily, so it’s best avoided.
Icy pavements in resorts mean falls don’t just happen on the slopes. Make sure you pack footwear that has good grip. Snow boots such as those from Columbia, Jack Wolfskin and Olang keep children’s feet comfy, warm and firmly on the ground.
Stay safe, stay comfortable, stay warm and have fun!
Please note: this has not been designed as an exhaustive list but some tips we would like to pass on based on our own experiences!