Top 5 tips for keeping your kids safe on the chairlift this ski season

Kids chairlift safety


Getting up on the mountain can be one of the most exciting activities your family enjoys this winter. But whether your kids are seasoned athletes or first-time skiers, it’s always important to remind them about chairlift safety. Almost 60% of chair lift injuries are caused by unsafe behaviour or a lack of user knowledge. You can avoid unexpected and preventable injuries by teaching your kids how to be model chairlift passengers.

Here are our top 5 tips for keeping your kids safe on the chairlift:

1. Be prepared before you get on the chairlift

Before you get on the chairlift, make sure your child has removed their pole straps and has their ski tips pointed down and forward. Also, make sure any loose items are tucked safely away.

Finally, when everyone is ready, move up to the marked line and watch out for the approaching lift. If your child falls, tell them to stay down until an operator instructs them to get up—this way, they won’t get hurt by the moving lift overhead.

2. Get seated properly

Make sure your child is sitting “back to back.” This means resting their back against the back of the chair seat. This might not always be what’s most comfortable for smaller passengers if they have short legs, but it will prevent them from slipping off the edge of their seat.

If you have a very young child, make sure they’re also seated close to the middle of the chairlift or in-between adults—rather than having them at either end. Check with the mountain you’re visiting to see if they have a preferred seating arrangement for adults and children.

3. Don’t rock the boat—or the chairlift

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure your kids ride the chairlift in a safe and responsible manner. Horsing around, leaning over the chairlift to touch treetops, or bouncing and shaking the chairlift can spell danger for everyone on the lift.

4. When in doubt, ask for help

Lift operators are there to help everyone stay safe. Teach your child that they can always ask a lift operator for help, especially if they’re old enough to start riding the chairlift on their own.

5. Mind your restraint bar manners

Let your child know before you lower or lift the restraint bar. And make sure they know that the restraint bar shouldn’t be raised until it’s safe to unload.

Bonus tip: remind kids that if they miss their chance to unload, they should stay seated. The operator will stop the chairlift and help them unload safely.

If you’re wondering how COVID-19 health and safety measures will impact your time on the slopes, check with your local mountain before you go. Each mountain’s website will give you the information you need to know before your visit.

Want more general chairlift safety tips? Technical Safety BC has you covered.


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