Winter Sports Safety

February 2020 Safety Moment

SUMMARY 

It’s fun to “play” in the snow with your unit during the winter months! Beyond camping, a number of cold-weather activities however present challenges to Scouts and leaders, such as alpine or cross-country skiing, ice skating, sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. Essential ingredients for fun include skill training and an awareness of the hazards unique to these activities. 

GENERAL INFORMATION 

Here are a few key points that can help you safely have fun during your winter activities outdoors. 

1.     Activities should be supervised by mature and conscientious adults. 

2.     Participants should be aware of the potential dangers of any winter sport, and leaders should stress incident prevention by stressing proper technique. 

3.     Help participants understand the need for using appropriate personal protective equipment such as helmets for sledding, snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiles. Be sure you are following local and federal regulations regarding the operating age or training for snowmobile use. 

4.     Winter sports are more physically demanding. Leaders and youth should be physically fit and capable to participate. 

5.     Be sure equipment fits each person properly. 

6.     During sledding, make sure the hill is safe and free of obstacles. Keep sledding paths and participant return paths separate from each other. 

7.     Talk about and gain support for the basic rules for the activity … before it begins. 

8.     Train Scouts and Leaders on Basic First Aid for Frost Bite, Hypothermia, Shock, Broken Bones, and Emergency Evacuation and Transportation. 

RESOURCES