Warning: Snow Fort Collapses Can Be Fatal

The weight of the snow, if it collapses on a child, can immobilize them and can cause asphyxiation without a prompt rescue.

During my Ward tours, I have noticed a number of snow forts or snow tunnels dug into local snow banks.

I remember building snow forts as a child. It was a lot of fun and would take many hours to complete. Stepping back from our construction efforts, we would admire our igloo type build as if we had just completed the Taj Mahal. I also remember my father showing us how to do it safely as he cut a hole in the roof.

While all snow forts can collapse, the safety of your children may be at greater risk if the fort is really a snow tunnel or an igloo. As the temperatures change, it weakens the stability of the structure. The result can be a catastrophic collapse of heavy snow. If a child is in the fort at the time, the weight of the snow surrounding their body immobilizes them. Without quick adult intervention, the child can perish from asphyxia.

I urge residents to monitor your child’s play outside and prevent them from building a snow dugout or tunnel. Encourage them to build snow forts without a snow roof. If you find that they have built a snow structure by digging a tunnel, I urge you to cut a hole in the roof to prevent unintentional injuries to your child or others.

To understand the risks better, please conduct an online search for “snow fort collapse kills”. I have shared a link to an article about a recent tragedy ofr your perusal.


Stay safe.