I don't want to sound like an overprotective fun-sponge parent, but I love "ski safety week."
Seriously, ski areas are concerned with safety every day of the year. Skiers should have at least one week each winter when the topic of safety is in your face. It's now; Jan. 15-23 is The National Ski Area Association sponsored "safety awareness week."
Each year the NSAA slides out a new spin, catchy phrase or grabby logo promoting safety on the slopes. Lids on Kids, Heads Up, and "Objects are closer than they appear" are all cutesy campaigns to encourage skiers to slow down, think about their actions, and be prepared for risk and dangers that exist on the slopes.
NSAA's latest is a "Tree Wells Steer Clear" graphic which is far more engaging than the "Non-Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Death Warning" that means simply you could sink into deep unpacked snow around tree bases.
All this week, look for the Skiers' Responsibility Code on napkins, signs and posters at resorts. If you "Know the Code"and "Smart Style It" (and you should), you could win prizes from contests and quizzes on the slopes, so go to NSAA for a quick review.
Here are a few fun ski safety programs going on in New England:
Killington will be giving a free lift ticket to anyone purchasing a helmet at the resort Jan. 15-21.
Sugarloaf will offer ski runs with Ski Patrol so you can learn about mountain safety straight from the experts. Sugarloaf ambassadors will host their second annual funny "Safe or Sorry" game show on WSKI TV.
Okemo hosts a Scavenger Hunt Jan. 16 for families to find safety clues out on the slopes and win prizes.
Take Safety Week as an opportunity to teach your kids The Code, and reinforce smart skiing and riding. It can be fun, especially if you enter the "Helmet Head" contest at Okemo, then vote for the best bad hair shots on Facebook.
Photo by Greg Burke For more of Heather's family ski tips go to www.familyskitrips.com