We have finally got some snow around here and my kids have already been hard at work digging their first tunnel through the snow piles for the year, which means it is time for some snow tunnel safety rules.
As a kid I spent a lot of time with my fellow kid gang members digging tunnels and forts in the piles of snow that resulted from clearing the common driveway and parking spaces in our townhouse complex. Due to the size of the snow mounds we were able to build some impressive snow complexes. At the time we didn’t think too much about the risks of what we were doing. Fortunately we only experienced a few tunnel collapses when someone was inside and none of them resulted in any significant consequences.
When my daughters completed their first tunnel of the year I congratulated them on their engineering feat and then we had a conversation about safety. I don’t want to stop them from building and tunnelling. I do however want them to be aware of the risk and have a plan of action if there is a tunnel collapse. Here are the snow tunnel safety rules that we agreed on – or more accurately that I dictated to them and they accepted.
Kids love to tunnel in snow piles. These snow tunnel safety rules will help them to stay safe.Click To Tweet
Snow Tunnel Safety Rules
- No one goes in the tunnel unless there is a spotter. A sister, friend or adult are all acceptable.
- Only one person in the tunnel at a time.
- Anyone going through the tunnel has to do it on their belly.
- If parts of the tunnel start to fall out on the inside, get out immediately and don’t use the tunnel again.
If there is a snow tunnel collapse;
- The spotter must immediately attempt to help the person in the tunnel out. If they cannot get the tunneller out immediately, they are to come inside to get assistance from an adult.
- The person in the tunnel should use their arms and hands to create an air pocket in front of their face (hence the belly travel) so they can breathe until rescued.
Snow Tunnel Collapse Prevention
- Dig down, not up so as to maintain as much strength in the roof as possible.
- Don’t walk over or jump on the top of the tunnel.
The tunnel in our front yard will only last until the next significant snowfall and then it will be covered up and filled in as the one they built is in the snow pile made with snow cleared from the driveway and I need the space for the snow.
As a replacement, they started piling snow in the backyard today that we will make into a Quinzee – a hollowed out snow dome. That is a project I will do with them and teach them how to build it properly and safely. I’ll provide those details in a future post when construction has been completed!