23 November 2022
We all know that skiing can be a relatively dangerous pastime, after all it isn’t classed as an adventure or extreme sport for nothing. The possibility is always there of a bad fall causing ankle sprains or on a very bad day broken limbs. This is something that must be taken into account when considering taking up skiing as a hobby.
Like most things in life, however, the risks can be mitigated and minimised by following basic and sensible safety precautions. Your kids can learn these rules as well and will be much safer for it.
This may seem a little bit obvious but it is something that can be hard to persuade younger children to want to do. Having their heads enclosed in a heavy helmet and having their field of vision narrowed can seem claustrophobic at first and may be the subject of tantrums and acting out behaviours.
One way to circumvent this is to have your children help to choose their own helmets, this makes it far more likely they will wear them without as much fuss. It is also important that the adults model good helmet wearing behaviours around the children so they see it as normal and expected in order to be allowed to ski.
It can be one thing to understand in theory what good and safe skiing looks like but it can be entirely another to experience the difference first-hand. Ski-lifts are the perfect vantage point from which to highlight what is good and safe vs what isn’t. It is much easier to see from that height what the consequences of actions are likely to be and to help your children develop a better understanding of this concept.
Take the time to discuss how people were doing things wrong and you will have to spend less time shouting at the children to correct their course and to take care, with the result being a much less frustrating and safer experience for everyone.
There is nothing surer when skiing that everyone is going to fall over when learning. Even the most seasoned skiers fall over now and then, it’s the nature of the sport. How people get up again when they fall can be a major factor in whether they continue to fall or whether they are able to successfully regain their balance and continue.
It is also important to teach your children to move off to the side out of the way of other skiers, who may be moving at speed toward them, and potentially not have the best visibility. Take the time to practise moving out of the way and getting up safely so that when it is required for real, it comes as second nature.
This is a good way to make things safer for the kids, at least until they get a bit bigger. Obviously, it is important to give them their own space but being nearby means you can help them move out of the way if they fall and ensure their safety in the event of an accident. It also provides fun shared experiences to talk about later.