For generations of kids, big piles of snow have equalled winter fun. Snowbanks created by snow plows can easily be transformed into snow forts, caves and miniature sledding hills. However, it is important to be aware of the potential hazards of children playing in snowbanks or in close proximity of Town streets.
The Town of Bracebridge Public Works Department is encouraging parents and guardians to talk to children about the importance of staying away from roadside snowbanks, regardless of conditions, and provide some tips for safe snow fun.
Educate children not to climb, play, build snow forts or tunnels in snowbanks at the side of streets or in cul de-sacs as they could slip and fall into oncoming traffic. Snow plows perform road clearing at odd times and have limited visibility. Children inside a tunnel at or near the end of a driveway may not be seen. Also, snow forts could collapse or be pushed down by plow equipment during snow clearing operations.
Tips for Safe Snow Fun:
- Do not play on snowbanks near the roadside. Snow plow drivers or other motorists may not be able to see children. Choose play areas away from roads, fences, water and the end of driveways.
- Stay away from snow plows and snow blowers. Never approach the vehicle or equipment, even if it is stopped. Heavy equipment often fascinates children but they may not understand the power of the equipment or the damage it may cause.
- If you encounter a sidewalk snow plow, please move off the sidewalk and into a yard or driveway where you can be seen and avoid plow discharge.
- Active supervision is important when young children are playing outside in the snow. School-aged children should establish a buddy system with one or more friends to have them look out for one another. Check often on older children who are playing outdoors for a long time.