Safety during Skiing Holidays
by Ren Chats
Teenagers love Skiing, a fun and challenging sport. But only safe winter sports leads to happy adventure. Safety is crucial and prevention of injuries is a must.
Restrictions need to be enforced and rules must be followed!!!
Speedily sliding through snow covered slopes gives a feeling of freedom and accomplishment that adds to excitement. Teenagers look forward to all form of excitements and love to take up challenges.
The skiing season:
The enthusiasm to participate in snow sports is on a sharp rise among tweens and teens. Besides skiing, other favorite winter sports are snowboarding, snowmobiling, sledding, ice fishing, ice hockey and ice skating. Children are all set for the snow sports and parents are naturally concerned because of several news that surface on teenage injuries attributed to skiing.
Indeed, injuries must be prevented:
Winter is also associated with injuries caused during snow shoveling, snow blowing, driving or walking on slippery snowy roads. Moreover, all
outdoor games have risks involved. Injuries can even occur at home, then why inhibit the joy?
Parents can ensure children’s safety during skiing holidays:
• Skiing holiday needs to be planned at least a year in advance
Impulsive decision of teenagers to join their peer on a skiing trip needs to be subdued. They are daring by nature, but taking unnecessary risks is to invite trouble. Take time to educate them on general principles of safety of snow sports.
• Protection from cold
Inadequate clothing is a common cause of cold stress. Youths avoid wearing several layers of clothes to improve their mobility. It is therefore essential to procure appropriate snugly fitting clothes along with mittens, helmet liner, hat, and headband for skiing holiday. There is always a possibility of clothes getting wet during snow sports, therefore caring extra sets of clothes is recommended.
• Adequate work outs essential to get fit for skiing trip
Good musculature reduces the risk of skiing injuries; and it can be achieved only by regular exercises over a significant period of time. Good muscle power helps in maneuvering skiing tricks successfully; and that adds to the fun of the sport!
• Learn and practice skiing before actually venturing for the sport:
Practice snow plough, turn and stop. Click here to view clips of skiing instructions from Professional Ski Instructor of America: Watch and Learn
• Essential safety equipment for skiing holiday
i. Certified Safety Helmet is a Must for all level skier:
Even minor bumps can lead to severe consequences.
ii. Ski goggles: Protect the eyes from glare and ultraviolet light.
The pair of goggles chosen should fit properly around the child’s helmet. Take care that the goggles' style chosen should Not hamper
the child's vision, including the peripheral vision.
Clear all round vision is very important to avoid injuries. If the child uses spectacles, then be sure that the ski goggles fit comfortably over them. If that is not the case then opt for goggles with specific power glasses that the child has been prescribed.
Well fitting skiing boots are essential for optimal control at high speed; the average speed of an intermediate skier is 20-40 miles per hour.
Bindings attach boots to the skis, and are set to the child’s classification, height, and weight. They should be well adjusted by a certified technician.
v. Body armor; spine protectors and crash pants should also be taken along.
vi. Emergency radio receivers and transmitters for weather forecast and avalanche alerts.
It helps to attract rescue team in event of getting lost or being affected by an avalanche. Children should learn to use the equipment promptly and efficiently.
viii. Breathing device
Children trapped under snow can continue breathing with its help till the rescue squad is able to reach them.
ix. Avalanche airbags back packs
These huge air bags fastened on the back markedly reduce the chances of children getting completely buried under the snow. The airbags work by just increasing the size of the child in comparison to the sliding snow blocks. Consequently, the skier who has lost the balance against the force generated by avalanche yet manages to remain on surface for the smaller objects sink deeper.
x. Probes and snow shovels
They come very handy during all snow sports. They can be used for marking caches, putting up tents, evaluating crevasses etc, and are recommended to be taken along. Pocket snow density gauge could be of help too.
• Strongly discourage all kinds of aerial manoeuvres:
Tweens and teens get instinctively attracted to participate in terrain parks’ jibs and jumps; wall ride, rails, mail box, kinks, kickers, pipes, barrels and more. Daring jumps and sharp speedy manoeuvring, though do add to the excitement, are notoriously known for severe injuries.
Snow park accidents have higher incidence of head, neck, spine and chest injuries. The injured often sustain concussion and fractures demanding prompt hospitalization.
• Alcoholic drinks on skiing expedition are prohibited:
Keep strictly away from alcohol during skiing holidays. Alcohol; and beer is also alcohol, slows down skier’s reactions and distorts judgement, making them prone to accidents.
• Do’s and don’ts of skiing sport:
i. Do not be alone:
Ski with friends; being in group safe guards from being lost in avalanche, and if injured can get help earlier.
ii. Do not go off ski path:
Refrain from the temptation of exploring off-piste skiing experiences unless accompanied by a qualified instructor.
iii. Drink enough water:
Excitement and cold weather makes skiers often forget the importance of drinking water. Even mild dehydration can lead to confusion and disorientation along with muscular weakness, thereby increasing the chances of accidents.
iv. Acknowledge individual limitations and respect body’s signals of tiredness.
v. Take adequate breaks:
Skiing when exhausted increases the risk of injuries.
vi. Get acquainted with the rules and do not break them.
vii. Obey warning signs.
viii. Follow skiing trail discipline:
Skiers who are in front and below on the trail have first right of way.
ix. Study the weather of the day before going on the ski trail
x. Avoid use of mobile phones:
It distracts the skier and interferes with emergency transmission
National Ski Patrol (NSP)