Make Sure Your Kids Ski Safely
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.
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.
Make sure you have some good warm clothes and try to get to get them used to wearing gloves hats and goggles (especially the younger ones).
Technical wear is always better than just a warm coat, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. The likes of Aldi Lidl and Sports direct often have ski jackets for as little as £30 and sometimes less, and they can still be used back here as a great winter coat.
Sun Cream – you will be amazed if you hit on a sunny day or 2, how sun burned you can get, so taking a decent quality sun cream is really important. A small tube is fine as its likely only your face that will catch it, but the altitude and the reflection from the snow can easily end up burning you in just a few hours.
When you get there don’t force them to do a full 8 hours of skiing – it could put them off for life. Take them out and introduce them gently, smaller children 45 minutes to an hour can easily be enough then go swimming or go for a nice crepe and a hot chocolate afterwards, then they will relate skiing with having great fun.
For smaller children if you can’t ski then putting them into a kinder garden can be a great way to go, they provide loads of fun for little ones and they really know how to entertain them. Older children and teenagers that know if they are keen or not, can easily go into ski school and will progress quickly there and will give you and them some free time from each other.
Why not indoor skiing first
The Snow Centre indoor snow centre in Hemel Hempstead, north of London, has built a brand new Snow Garden specifically tailored to children aged 2 – 5 years, to experience the magic of snow at the base of the 160m Main Slope.
It costs £4.50 per child for 30 minutes playing in the Snow Garden with fun features including a mini snow slide. Children’s helmets are included in the price and adults, who must accompany children with a maximum of two children per adult, go free.
For children aged 4 up, The Snow Centre is also offering skiing or snowboarding courses for all ability levels over the Easter holidays.