At the start of the holiday, make sure you and your kids know the FIS safety rules of the slopes. All skiers and snowboarders should know the rules of the slopes, just as you would expect all drivers to know the rules of the road. This is one way to ensure your kids ski safely throughout their time on the slopes.
Too often we see incidents on the slopes, where people’s lack of adherence to the rules leads to accidents or near misses.
To help keep your kids safe, make sure you teach them the basic rules:
- Control of speed – one of the biggest sources of accidents is people losing control due to going too fast. Of course, kids will want to push the limits, and you can get them used to going faster by choosing a slope that has a good run-out area and is not too crowded.
- The person in front has right of way – they can do any manoeuvre they like and it is your responsibility to avoid them.
- When overtaking make sure you leave plenty of space for the person you are overtaking – remember they might be nervous.
- Stop to the side of the piste and make sure people coming from above can see you so they don’t crash into you.
- When setting off, look uphill and make sure it is safe to go before you set off.
Other things for you and your children to be aware of:
- Slow down before you get to the bottom of the slope or lift.
- Adjust your speed to the slope conditions, slow down if it is crowded, visibility is bad or the piste is in poor condition.
- Skiers and snowboarders take different lines; watch out for this when overtaking.
- When stopping, stop below the group so you don’t accidently crash into anyone.
For a full list of the FIS code of conduct, see www.fis-ski.com.
This winter Altitude Ski and Snowboard School in Verbier have their own specialised kids’ instructors who create a fun and safe environment for young children to learn and develop their skills. Remember it is very important that kids ski safely and have lots of fun. For information on which schools provide good facilities throughout the Alps, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected].