Snow Safety is a serious matter for all families heading to the mountains. And there are a number of safety precautions we all need to consider.
Prepare your kids for the adventure of skiing, not only be getting them enthusiastic about what they will be able to see and do, but also about general safety.
Encourage them to always stay where there are lots of people, the last thing you want is for them to get inquisitive and stray, getting lost.
Teach them the importance of wearing a ski helmet and lots of warm clothes. Remind them that if they don’t rug up they will get sick, sometimes as serious as frostbite and then they won’t be able to go out at all. That will usually win a few kids over.
Most slopes are color coded as far as degree of difficulty is concerned; teach your children what their color is, and more importantly what colors to stay away from. Also familiarize them with other signs and their meanings to ensure they do not get into trouble.
Also show them where they can locate ski chairs and most importantly first aid.
Talk to the kids about the dos and don'ts of snow safety. Teach them about Skiing etiquette. For example, give way to on-coming traffic when entering a new track or slope.
It's important to ensure that your kids always have adult supervision. Whether that be with an instructor, parent or friend, it is crucial not to leave them unattended. It is also recommended not leave them in the care of older children.
Encourage family members to eat and drink well, it's important everyone is in top shape. Skiing is a physical sport as are most activities in the snow.
Consider the well being of your kids and ensure you have a plan of action if they suffer from altitude sickness. Check out tips and advice for altitude sickness prevention.
And of course the most important thing is never ski alone! (Regardless of whether you are an adult or kid)
ID your kids. Wristbands for your kids are a great way to help keep them safe. Write your name and mobile number or the number of the resort where you are staying on it. This will act as an additional safety measure in the event that you were to lose one another on the slopes, or in the event of an accident, authorities will know who to contact.
However with all the layers of clothing, this may be difficult to find in an emergency. A great alternative is a luggage tag or equivalent attached to the pocket of their coat, making it easy to identify at times of need.
The bonus of this method is it is easy to update the details on a luggage tag, ensuring you provide relevant information based on your current destination.
When out on the slopes with young children it is recommended by the professionals to not carry young children around for prolong periods. Not only is it dangerous if you were to slip and have a fall, the young children are at risk of hypothermia. Unlike the adults who are moving around, those being carried are not actively doing anything to keep themselves warm.
HOT SNOW SAFETY TIP: Don't forget the sunscreen. Just because you are at the snow, don't think you won't get sun burnt. The reflection from the snow can cause serious sunburn especially on a sunny day. Be prepared.
Finally when thinking snow safety ensure you provide your kids with the right gear for the weather conditions. The last thing you want is for them to be miserable because they are cold and wet.
Safety foremost however try and keep it fun.