Tobogganing safety in Ontario, Canada - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Tobogganing safety in Ontario, Canada


Tobogganing is a popular way to have some outdoor fun and take advantage of the long, snowy winters that are common in Ontario, Canada. The equipment needed to participate is not that expensive and hillsides offering the perfect conditions for the sport are usually only a short drive away or within walking distance. Tobogganing is an activity that all members of the family can enjoy, but the risk of injuries has led some local governments to impose restrictions with hefty fines for individuals choosing to violate them. Minimizing the risks and ensuring safe tobogganing is not that difficult to accomplish.

Safety begins before reaching the hill

Before heading out for a day of tobogganing, it is important to ensure that each person takes a few minutes to prepare. Preparations before leaving home should include the following:

  • Dress for the weather. It is best to wear layers of clothing, so you can remove or add garments to accommodate temperature changes throughout the day. Keep in mind the temperature when you head out the door will probably change as the day goes on and become cooler if you are on the outside when the sun begins to set.
  • Wear a water resistant outer layer of clothing to keep you dry during the inevitable spills into the snow.
  • Boots and gloves are essential for protection from the dangers of frostbite.
  • Do not wear loose clothing, such as scarves, that could drag along the ground and get caught on something.
  • Wear sunscreen for protection from sunburn that can be intensified by reflecting off the snow.
  • Wear a helmet, preferably one approved for skiing, for protection against injuries caused by a fall or from crashing into a tree, other toboggans or other objects.
  • Inspect the toboggan to ensure it is free from broken or sharp edges that could cause injuries and is not cracked or damage in any way that could affect its performance.

Parents should make certain their children are properly dressed and have a helmet that fits properly. Children should not wear helmets sized for adults. An improperly fitting helmet could obstruct a child’s vision or fail to protect the wearer from injury in the event of a fall or collision.

Choose a safe site on which to ride

Snow-covered hills are the best ones for safe tobogganing. Bare spots or icy hills are dangerous and could cause a toboggan to go out of control. Avoid hills near roads where there is a danger of a toboggan being hit by cars or other vehicles.

Trees along a hillside are obvious hazards, but other dangers that might not be as readily apparent include:

  • tree stumps
  • fences
  • fence posts
  • rocks
  • wires and cables
  • telephone and light poles
  • parked cars
  • sign posts

Lakes, ponds or other waterways should be far enough away from where you and your children will be tobogganing to avoid them. The frozen surface of a lake or pond could easily give to the weight someone sliding on to it.

Safety on the hill

Check to make certain no one is in your path before pushing off to slide downhill. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult.

When your toboggan reaches the bottom of the hill, do not linger and risk being hit by someone coming down behind you. Instead, get off the toboggan and move out of the path of others who might be coming down the hill.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

As much fun as it can be spending a day outdoors with your family, tobogganing injuries may occur. If you or a loved one are injured this winter, the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for people injured participating in winter sports and activities. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations. Our team of personal injury lawyers represents clients throughout Ontario.

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