Had enough of skiing? Then why not have a go at tobogganing? We’ve got four tips on making it safe for children and still having fun.
Wear a helmet!
“Why do I have to wear a helmet, we’re only going sledging!” We’ve probably all heard this sentence more than once (and not just from our children, either). In fact, a helmet, and ski goggles as well, is actually a clever choice. After all, the speed when you’re tobogganing is not that different from when you’re skiing – and there are usually a lot more trees in the way when you’re tobogganing.
Choose the most suitable toboggan run!
Toboggan runs, like ski slopes, are colour-coded, so you can tell the degree of difficulty. Blue is easy, red middle and black difficult. It’s definitely a good idea to make sure the route is appropriate for your children’s skill levels. And incidentally: you should never sledge down a ski piste which hasn’t been explicitly cleared for tobogganing. That would be really dangerous.
Let the children sit at the back!
Although you often hear children yelling out from the front of a toboggan, experts advise against it. In the event of a collision, the weight from behind increases the pressure on the child. If the child sits at the back, it can’t slip off – provided you’ve fitted a back rest – and the adult steering can lift up the toboggan at the front to brake in an emergency.
If the child insists on sitting at the front, you should at least pay attention to the following safety tip: there are special adhesive strips which you can attach to the toboggan to avoid slipping forward.
Only let them toboggan alone when they’re school-age!
Of course, the basic principle is that kids should only be allowed on the toboggan alone when they can steer properly and, most importantly, brake reliably and bring the sledge to a stop. The age at which they can do this varies from child to child, but most school-age children (around 6) can manage it. It’s still important to practice on smaller and slightly flatter hills, before daring the more demanding routes – and to exercise caution there, too.
You can toboggan everywhere in Paznaun. Tuesdays, for example, there’s moonlight tobogganing for families from 19.00 – 22.00 in Kappl. Tickets are available at the valley station.