Learning to ski is a wonderful, healthy option for children and one where the youngster will always have fun and exercise whilst meeting new friends amongst the special people who are skiers. It is, however, necessary to take some precautions because the last thing that parents want on a holiday is cold related health problems or broken bones which will mean an unhappy holiday for everyone.
If you can find somewhere to practise before you go, you will find that this helps a great deal. There are dry slopes around that offer some tuition and the chance to feel what it's like to wear skis. Make sure that you're well prepared with what you take. The most important thing to remember is sun cream. The sun is very strong and reflects off the snow making it very easy for young (and even old) skins to become very badly burned very quickly. In addition be prepared with pain relievers because everyone will suffer from aching limbs and probably blistered feet and bruises!
When you are at the resort make sure that you have a hearty breakfast. It will not only give you the energy for the skiing but also help to protect you against the cold. Make sure that you're wearing lots of layers of clothing - many thinner layers are much better than one thick one. Temperatures will change hugely very quickly and you will need to be prepared for the very hot and the very cold each day. Gloves and hats are an absolute necessity and at least two pairs of each as they will get wet and very uncomfortable.
For children a ski helmet is a must rather than just a woolly hat and goggles will protect the eyes from the glare of the snow. Don't forget to take the sun cream out every day, even if it's very overcast when you leave your accommodation and also take lip balm that you can regularly apply as you'll find your lips will dry out very quickly. It's useful to also take a bar of chocolate to give your energy a boost (well that's our excuse!).
If this is the first time you've taken a young child make sure that all their equipment is suitable and fits well; make sure that the bindings on the skis are adjusted for easy release as this is how most of the serious accidents happen. Make sure they have lessons with an instructor who speaks their language and if they don't want to go, don't force them. The whole experience will be very tiring for them and if they go out either when they're too tired or try to go down runs that are too hard they are more likely to get hurt.
Choose a resort that is close to the runs and the shops. Children won't find it easy to walk in ski boots and it may not be fun for you having to carry all their equipment as well as your own. If you are planning to put the children in a crèche, make sure that it's close by. Make sure that you feel confident that your child will be looked after well and that the people managing the crèche speak your language.
Crèches vary in standard; the poorest simply putting children in front of a TV for the duration, whilst others have wonderful programs to give the children a stimulating time. You can check on the staff; at least some of them should be CACHE or NNEB qualified. Beware. Some crèches may require you to provide certificates of immunisation. Some companies will cut corners and offer child care, which is, in reality, the chalet maid who is expected to care for the child. She may have no experience or empathy with children. Do check. Like so many things, the standards vary tremendously. If the child is three or above they can be enrolled into kindergarten ski lessons.
About the author
Rachel Branston is the author of a childrens' book series "My Travels with Trevor". Each book can be supplied as a personalized child book with your child's name. http://www.trevors-tales.com.
Written by: Rachel Branston
Source: Rachel Branston