For Parents

Parents, teenagers and children should be prepared and cautious when participating in snow sports. The ski industry has no uniform safety policies, procedures or signage, and those safety practices that are in place vary from location to location. To learn more about how your favorite ski resort manages safety, ask to see its safety and accident prevention plan and consider the following questions.

Questions to Ask Your Local Ski Resort

  • Is the resort at which you are planning to ski or snowboard safety conscious? Is it proactive in preventing accidents? What is its safety policy? Does it even have a policy?
  • What is the resort's emergency plan? Are paramedics at the mountain or does emergency medical services come from off-site? Where is the nearest hospital?
  • What do the resort's trail signs look like and are they uniform and easy to understand?
  • Is the beginner's slope off-limits to the other skiers and snowboarders? Many times faster, more experienced skiers will take short cuts through these trails resulting in serious accidents.
  • Are helmets mandatory? Insist everyone in your group wears a helmet at all times — most states require motorcycle helmets, but no states require ski helmets.
  • How many deaths and serious injuries occurred at the ski resort last year? How does those numbers compare to other resorts in the area?
  • Does the resort offer skiing and snowboarding lessons? Have your children’s skiing abilities assessed by an expert to ensure they only use slopes that align with their abilities.

There is much that can be done in the area of accident prevention and safety. Not all accidents can be prevented, but there are definite steps ski resorts can take to minimize the risks.