Winter Safety Tips
  • Armonia Gala

Stay Safe This Winter With These Winter Activity Tips

November 16, 2015


Snow and ice can be a major cause for concern when walking or playing in communities. Take the proper precautions by following these suggestions for common winter activities:


Even though it may not look like there is ice on the ground, ice could be covered by snow or just not immediately noticeable.

  • Wear boots or other shoes that have traction on snow and ice

  • Try and maintain balance when you walk, keep your head up, and keep your hands out of your pockets to help break your fall if you slip

  • Walk like a penguin! Point your feet out slightly and spread them out when you walk to increase your centre of gravity

  • Maintain a slower speed, and in really icy areas, shuffle across the area


Ice Skating/ Ice Hockey

Depending in your community, there may or may not be a regulated ice skating rink or facility, so people may resort to using frozen ponds, lakes, or rivers. Be sure to keep in mind these tips when skating on these ponds.

  • Check the ice thickness. If you aren’t sure how thick it is, don’t go on it

    • Frozen ponds, rivers, lakes, etc. should be 15 cm or 6 in. thick before going on. For a group of people, it should be 20 cm or 8 in. thick. Be sure to test all areas because it may be thinner in some places than others

    • The colour or ice can indicate strength. Clear blue ice is the strongest, followed by white opaque which is half as strong, and grey ice is unsafe

    • If you hear any cracking, get off the ice immediately

  • Make sure to let others know where you are going skating and when you plan on returning, and check the weather before you go, making sure to dress right

  • Don’t go on the ice alone, and not at night

In the case that someone does fall through the ice, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Help keep the person in the ice calm, making sure they breathe regularly and keep their head out of the water

  • Get or call for help while encouraging the person to hold onto the ice and try and pull themselves up

  • Use aids like a hockey stick, branch, or scarf to try and pull them out without putting yourself in danger of falling in

  • If the person is still not out within five to 10 minutes, call 911 or the fire department for assistance

As for proper equipment when skating or playing hockey:

  • Skates should fight firmly around the ankle and provide proper support

  • Make sure skates are in good condition and that the blades are free of rust and sharp

  • Helmets should be worn, like CSA approved hockey helmets, as well as face masks or mouth guards, protective padding, gloves, toques, jackets, and snow pants.



  • Only toboggan on hills that are not too steep, are free of hazards like trees, rocks and holes, and have a clear run-off area

  • Inspect toboggans before sledding to make sure they are in good condition

  • Position yourself on the sled safely: kneeling position, not head first, and arms and legs within the sled

  • Slide down the middle of the hill, and at the bottom don’t linger – provide a clear path for the other tobogganers

  • Climb up the hill on the outer perimeter to provide ample room for others to sled down



We wish a happy and safe winter to you and your family!