Helmet use recommended for ice activity at Jack Frost festival

Jim Day
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Abe and Ben Waterman of Caledonia take a break from ice sculpting to take a test slide down one of the many runs on the grounds of the Jack Frost Festival. Guardian photo

Confederation Bridge GM Michel Le Chasseur says the use of helmets is “strongly recommended’’ during all the slippery ice activity at this year’s Jack Frost Children’s Winterfest.

“It’s outdoor fun, it’s ice, and like every sport there is potential for injury,’’ says Chasseur.

The Confederation Bridge is undertaking the logistical and financial management of the event, which was sidelined last year when no one stepped forward to assume the financial risk.

The popular winter festival, which runs from Feb. 28 to March 2, has a large man-made tubing hill, numerous ice slides, a mini ski hill, and a large skating rink.

Le Chasseur says between a dozen and 20 helmets will be available on site for use but parents are encouraged to have each of their children bring their own helmet. He says organizers have developed rules of play for the festival that will be posted at the entrance to the site as well as on the Jack Frost website.

One “rule’’ is that wearing helmets is strongly recommended.

“At the same time it is not regulated,’’ added Le Chasseur. “I can’t force anyone to do it.’’

Le Chasseur says he appreciates Kenneth Murnaghan, president of the Brain Injury Association of P.E.I., for drawing attention to the importance of helmet use during the festival.

Murnaghan told The Guardian he believes the festival organizers could have made helmet use mandatory for people using the slides but adds he is pleased with the action they are taking.

“It’s the parents that we need to get to,’’ he says. “It’s important the parents take the responsibility.’’

Murnaghan hopes to continue to promote helmet use for bicycling, sledding and a number of other potentially harmful activities through awareness campaigns. He also would like to rally community support to help provide helmets to people who cannot afford them.

Organizations: Brain Injury Association, The Guardian

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Recent comments

  • Chris
    February 13, 2014 - 12:22

    Lets just wrap our kids in bubble wrap and make sure they never go out of the house with their umbrella either. Lets try maybe let kids be kids. We want our kids to get more exercise and yet we want to make sure they don't get a scrape or bruise. We are making generations of people who will believe they are unable to do anything and believe everything will hurt them. Should be quite the place when they are adults.

    • A-Parent
      February 13, 2014 - 13:49

      I agree completely. These kids will grow up to be adults who are afraid to take any sort of risks and feel that they shouldn't ever have to experience a moment of pain and discomfort. One of the countries that has had the most success in raising children into healthy, happy, productive adults is Sweden, who believes that kids should play outside with very little supervision to teach them how to assess risks, which is key in being a good decision maker, and good communication and negotiation skills in dealing with people - face to face... not on a device. What is Canada creating? Generations of people who take a painkiller everytime there is the slightest discomfort. Look at the cost to society in that approach.

    • SLIPPY
      February 13, 2014 - 15:16

      Yup, let's never learn from our mistakes, bring back lead paint and asbestos, forget vaccines, all way too safe!!! While we are at it, let's start promoting cigarettes as a health product again, and get rid of drunk driving laws, just like the good old days. It's a helmet, it doesn't stop them from having fun and exercising, it shows that we have taken precautions because we now know how to protect our brains.

    • SLIPPY
      February 13, 2014 - 15:21

      A-parent, this is assessing risk, whacking your head on ice can be dangerous, put on a helmet and go at it.