Skiing can be a great activity for kids of all ages. In fact, you can get your child on the slopes not long after they learn how to walk. Experts say it’s safe for kids as young as three to start learning. Your child can learn proper balance and coordination while experiencing all the wonders that come with playing in the snow. So, what does your child need to start skiing? Use these ski safety tips for kids to help your family enjoy skiing as an activity together.
- Stay Safe and Warm
It all starts with having the proper gear. Your main responsibility is to keep your child safe and warm in the cold. They will need to wear long socks, an insulating layer that can be removed if it gets too warm, and waterproof pants. In addition your kids will need ski wear such as; boots, gloves, and a ski jacket. To ensure they stay warm, put their sleeves into their gloves and roll their socks up their legs to prevent moisture from seeping through. Nothing will ruin their fun like wet and soggy clothes. You can also bring along hand warmers to help them stay comfortable when they’re not skiing.
Your child will also need a helmet and goggles to start skiing. The goggles will block the glare of the sun and keep debris out of their eyes. Having a helmet significantly reduces the risk of head injuries. It should come with an adjustable strap that will extend as your child continues to grow. Make sure the helmet fits properly over their head. They should try it on before wearing it on the slopes. Consider going a size up or switching them over to an adult-sized helmet when they reach a certain age.
Have them wear a skiing communication device to help them communicate while skiing. All they have to do is speak into the device and it will connect them to their phone or one of their companions. It’s perfect for kids just learning how to ski and experienced skiers. You can coach your child from the sidelines in real-time to help them remember important information. They can also radio for help if they get stuck halfway down the mountain.
Source: ROMAN DZIUBALO/Shutterstock.com
- Consider Renting Over Buying
You should be able to rent most of your gear and equipment at the ski shop or resort. It might be cheaper to rent the gear if your child is just starting out in case they change their mind. They may also age out of the gear quickly, forcing you to buy them a new helmet, skis and poles. Consider buying a ski helmet communicator, as most resorts don’t provide this equipment. It is compatible with any helmet, so you don’t have to buy them a new one when they get older. They can also use it when they go mountain biking, surfing, or snowboarding.
- Teach the Basics
Once you and your child have everything you need to start skiing, you’ll need to go over the basics to ensure they can safely get around on their own. Start out by teaching them how to safely move around while wearing skis. Turning can be challenging for new skiers as they might accidentally trip on their skis. They should focus on slowly gliding their feet over the snow, while turning in the direction they want to go.
Try to make the learning experience as fun as possible to keep them engaged. You can also sign them up for a beginner’s class where they can meet with other children their age. Professional instructors know how to explain concepts in a way children of all ages can understand. Consider attending the class with them to help them gain confidence. Most children only need two to three ski classes before they can start skiing all by themselves.
- Bring Supplies
You never know when your child might get hungry or thirsty on the slopes. Bring along some water in containers that won’t freeze and plenty of energizing snacks to give them fuel. It’s best to have a first aid kit nearby in case of an emergency. Nausea medication will help them master the ski lift. They may also need sunscreen if their skin is exposed. Use baby wipes to get rid of messes on the fly.
- Stay Close to Home
Ease your child into the experience by starting out close to home. You can easily call it a day and head back to the resort or your hotel if they get frustrated or tired after a few hours. Their mood can quickly change after a bad fall or a disappointing run. Once they build up their skills, you can start venturing farther into the wilderness.
Make it a winter they will never forget by teaching your child how to ski. Give them the right equipment regardless of their age or experience level to keep them safe on the slopes.