Skating Safely in Ottawa

February 23, 2016 | Chiropractic, Massage, Sports, Winter

There is no better place to take in Canada’s favorite winter pastime than our snowy Capital! Ottawa is home to one of the world’s largest outdoor skating rinks, numerous outdoor community rinks and backyard rinks to fulfill your skating fun whether you are a skating beginner or a seasoned expert we have a few tips for skating safely.


Before you lace up your skates and hit Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway or your backyard rink this winter, keep in mind these safety tips to ensure safe skating.  Sharp skates, slippery ice, and physical contact make skating a leading cause of winter sports injuries. Taking skating safety practices seriously can significantly cut down on common pitfalls ranging from broken limbs to frostbitten toes.


  • DO maintain clearly defined rink-edges on an outdoor ice rink. Clearly defined rink edges prevent skaters from slipping on unexpected icy patches surrounding the rink when getting on and off the ice.
  • DO patch chips or holes on the rink so skaters don’t trip. If you’re at an indoor arena, advise one of the staff about any blemishes in the ice immediately. If you have an outdoor rink, flood and smooth out the uneven patches as soon as possible.
  • DO mark any deep ridges or holes that may be difficult to fix with a brightly coloured pylon to help skaters avoid a potential hazard.
  • DON’T let skaters of all ages wear ill-fitting skates. In addition to falls and blisters, they could also lead to frostbite on cold ice rinks. A great tip when shopping for skates is to try skates on while wearing heavy winter socks so you don’t inadvertently buy skates that are too tight.
  • DO immediately clear debris off the ice. Whether it’s garbage, winter clothing or remnants of a broken hockey stick, any extra material on the ice could prove to be hazardous to skaters whizzing by.
  • DON’T keep any extension cords that may be required for your floodlights on the ground. If skaters don’t see them, they may become tripping hazards — or the players’ skates could even slice through the cords.
  • DO encourage children to learn how to fall properly to avoid injuries. Practicing how to fall in a way that protects their limbs and most importantly, their heads. Here is a video tutorial to get started on the ice.

If you do take a spill on the ice, be sure to see your chiropractor for a checkup especially if pain persists more than a day. Chiropractors keep your spine and joints aligned which leaves you balanced and skating well on the ice. On those days after a long skating practice in the cold, there’s no better way to end the day than with a massage. Massage therapy helps ease muscle pain and speed up recovery after exercise.  Curavaita also has easy access to real-time online booking with our registered massage therapists.


Ice-skating is a wonderful physical activity you can experience in Ottawa at any time this winter. Follow these safety tips and keep unnecessary falls and tumbles from taking the fun out of your winter season. Visit the City of Ottawa’s website to find a rink near you or look up the ice conditions on the canal!

If you’ve experienced a nasty fall, don’t hesitate to give us a call! To book an appointment, call 613.860.8600 for our Byward location, and 613.237.9000 for our Glebe location.