Do your kids know the code? Its National Ski Safety Week Jan 16-22, and ski resorts around
If your kids know the code, they could win prizes, or at least a hot cocoa coupon, from ski patrol. More importantly, they could save themselves and others from dangerous situations on the slopes.
You teach your child to look both ways before crossing the street. But did you teach them to look uphill before entering a trail? How about stopping where they do not obstruct the trail but are still visible from above?
The 7 Point Skier's Responsibility Code is rather rudimentary, so resorts like Okemo and Killington are attempting to chat up the code with special promos.
Making the safety message fun, even funny, is the best way to engage kids. So do the safety dance (remember that 80's song – one of my faves) by talking about The Code on your drive to and from the snow.
Here's "Your Responsibility Code':
1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
When my kids were little, they loved conjuring up catastrophes and spouting out silly slogans; check it before you wreck it, if you don't look up - you could go down, and know the code or be a code, are a few they thought were worth repeating again and again. The more entertaining you make the safety discussion, or safety dance, the safer you will all be on the slopes.
Heather Burke is our weekly family ski guru. For more of Heather's family ski tips and stories, go to www.familyskitrips.com. Photos by Greg Burke
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.