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.