Rules For Safe Tobogganing, Because That’s All We Can Do!

Be safe!

Ski hills closed and the province in lockdown, and parents, and kids have flocked to the few hills that Barrie has to get in some much needed outdoor time.


In case you haven’t noticed, the hills are packed, too busy at times.  It appears that not all parents are teaching kids tobogganing etiquette!  The biggest rule being, once you go down the hill, move to the side quickly and walk up the side of the hill.


It appears this common-sense rule has been lost on many people this year.  Here are some other safety rules to help us all enjoy the winter activity!

Rules for Safe Tobogganing

  • Wear a ski/hockey helmet.


  • Sit up in the sled, don’t lie down, and certainly don’t go head first. “Facedown on your stomach with your head forward is the most dangerous position” according to Dr. Charles Tator, neurosurgeon*. Your brain and spine are kind of important to everyday life, so let’s keep them intact.


  • Mr. Tree is not your friend. He is a big bully that will bust you up if you come anywhere near him. Do not sled if there are trees in your slide path or near it!


  • Sticks and stones will break your bones (or rip your face open). Avoid low hanging branches or stones sticking up out of the ground.


  • Do not sled onto roads, alleys, or parking lots. In Toboggan vs. F150, the truck won. In Toboggan vs. BMW, the car won. Basically, in any toboggan vs. motor vehicle scenario, toboggan loses.


  • Ms. Fence is not your friend. She is an antisocial wretch that requires ample personal space. If you disturb her, she will flip your sled and shatter your nose. Keep your distance!
  • Don’t make or use jumps. You really can’t control how you will land after getting big air (and cracked ribs are painful).
  • Look for snow-covered terrain and a soft landing pad. Grassy knolls blanketed in snow are sliding nirvana. Ice, pavement, concrete, or bare ground are just magnets for injuries and costly emergency dental work. *Ice patches can cause you to speed up and/or lose control, so do not toboggan on ice, please!*

  • Sleds are not boats. Keep them on land. Even if the pond below looks frozen, refer to Rule 8 above, and find another place to slide.
  • More is not the merrier. If your sled is made for two; only let two people ride in it.
  • Cherish the space between. Space between you and other sleds is a good thing.
  • Don’t sled in the dark! You never know who might be lurking in the shadows; Mr. Tree, Ms. Fence, and friends are highly unforgiving.
  • Get outta the way! When you reach the bottom, move to the side and walk up the side of the hill.