In 2018, Parachute partnered with the Canadian Ski Council, the Ontario Snow Resorts Association and Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) to produce GRAVITY: A Film about Serious Downhill Adventures in Safety. The film covers five ski aspects of ski and snowboarding safety: the right clothing, gear and preparation, helmets and concussion, alpine responsibility code, lift safety, and moving up to the big mountains. Refer to the Resource Library below for links to the individual video segments.

Safety tips

Children skiing downhill with helmets and goggles
  • Never ski or snowboard alone.
  • Do warmup exercises and stretches before each day’s skiing.
  • Stay on marked trails and follow other rules of the slopes.
  • Be especially careful on the first and last few runs of the day, when injuries are most common.
  • Be aware that high speeds and aerial manoeuvres carry a high risk for injury.
  • Stop skiing or snowboarding before you get tired and before it gets dark. Fatigue and poor visibility both lead to injuries. 
  • Choose runs or trails that best suit your ability. Before you start skiing or snowboarding, you should understand the signs used to indicate level of difficulty.
  • Stay alert to hazards (such as rocks, trees, ice patches) and changes in weather and visibility.
  • Only use snowboards with full-length steel edges and stiff, secure bindings. The board leash should be securely attached. Children should use short boards (no more than chest high).
  • Beginners should take lessons from a certified instructor.
  • Children younger than seven should not try snowboarding, as recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

Protective equipment

A child in a snowsuit with protective equipment ready to go skiing
  • Dress against frostbite, be sure boots are not too tight and wear sunglasses or goggles with UV protection to guard against the reflection of the sun off the snow.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect against sunburns.
  • Wearing a helmet is recommended for children, snowboarders, racers and high-risk environments such as back-country skiing, to prevent head injury. In 2014, the CSA released a new standard for a multi-impact ski and snowboard helmet. 
  • Always check your child’s equipment to make sure it is in good condition and fits properly. Bindings should be checked at least once a year by a qualified technician or ski shop. Bindings, boots and skis that do not fit properly or are not properly adjusted are a significant risk factor for young skiers.
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