What Are They Thinking? The Ban on Tobogganing Makes No Sense!

Officials in certain cities in Canada and the United States have implemented a ban on tobogganing. If you live in Hamilton, Ontario, (a city near Toronto), for example, and want to sled with your kids, you’re out of luck, according to CTV News report. The goal of this ban is to help prevent children from getting hurt (and in my opinion, having fun!). Officials say they don’t want kids ending up in the hospital with broken bones or concussions from the “dangers” of the sled. 

Yes, those colorful little toboggans can go quite fast and I sometimes worry about my son Noah’s safety on the hills, but I’m shocked that anyone would ban this age-old winter tradition. I mean, skiing and snowboarding are much more dangerous. So why put a ban on tobogganing at all? Of course no one wants their kiddies to be injured, but there are other precautions to take besides banning fun winter activities. 

I grew up tobogganing on those long wooden sleighs’ (think Santa), and it was a big part of my childhood in the winter. Last season when I took Noah, then 7, sledding on a medium-sized hill near our home I noticed about half the kids on the hill were wearing helmets. It did get me thinking, so I wrapped an extra scarf around Noah’s head and he looked hilarious. Helmets would be a good first step towards safety. But to ban sledding altogether? Really? Last winter, when we actually had snow to play in, the kids were having a total blast zooming down the hill, laughing, playing, making snow angels, having a snowball fight – it’s all part of winter in the great white north. I am glad Toronto (where we live) doesn’t have a ban on sledding!

And seriously, where do you draw the line? How can skiing still possibly be legal in the cities with the ban if tobogganing isn’t? And how about skating? Last week we went to Toronto’s City Hall outdoor skating rink and I was the protective mamma insisting he wear his hockey helmet and face guard! He protested, but wore it anyways. At least 50 other kids were there skating without a helmet. But there is no ban, and that’s on government property! And what about swimming? Sadly many kids have drowned in the summer both in pools and public lakes. But there is no city ban on public bodies of water.

Apparently I am not alone in my thoughts as many parents started a “sled-in” protest, in Orangeville, Ont., because of a  “No tobogganing” sign posted Wednesday at Murray’s Mountain.

Yup, parents were pissed off. They began expressing their views on social media after their winter fun was banned. One parent suggested having a sign near the hill of danger; “toboggan at your own risk” rather than banning it entirely. I totally agree. There are plenty of other ways to keep our kids safe without taking away their tobogganing tradition. What do you think? Would you let your kids toboggan down a hill in winter?

Photo: Getty