Skip to main content
Publish date:

Plymouth reminds families not to let their kids play in snowbanks

It can be hard for snowplows to see children, which could result in injury.

The City of Plymouth is reminding residents to not let their children play in snowbanks as they could get hurt. 

In a tweet on Tuesday, the city said plow drivers have noticed snow forts at the edge of roads and in cul-de-sacs, which can be dangerous because it's "difficult for plow drivers to see kids playing in snow." 

The "force/weight of snow coming off plows can collapse tunnels and forts and harm kids," the tweet said. 

Snow forts can also collapse on children while they're playing inside, which can result in injury or death, according to several news articles about similar incidents in North America and Europe. 

The city's warning is part of its winter plowing messaging it does annually and comes amid a few rounds of wintry weather in the Twin Cities. What's more, many children are home distance learning and/or on winter break.

City spokesperson Helen LaFave told Bring Me The News the safety reminder isn't connected to any particular incident.

It is not common for a child to die in a snow fort-related incident, but it does happen. The Chicago Tribune said it's rare for a child to die in a collapse, but is more common for children to get hurt or killed in a snowbank-related car crash (like with a plow).

In 2019, a 12-year-old girl from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, died when a snow fort collapsed on her, the Chicago Tribune reported. Her 9-year-old friend was treated for hypothermia.

In 2016, a 13-year-old boy in Greenwich, New York, died after getting buried in snow, according to the Post Star. The incident also injured a 12-year-old boy, News 10 said

And in 2014, two boys in upstate New York were trapped for several hours after a plow buried them in the snow for at least six hours, ABC7 reported. They both survived.

The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital recommends not leaving children unsupervised when they're playing outside and parents should be vigilant about enforcing snow-safety rules, like not building snow structures with a roof or make tunnels that could collapse on them, according to Parents magazine.

Meanwhile, the safest way to build a snow fort is to start from the ground up – not by digging into a snowbank, the Chicago Tribune said.

Next Up

US Sec Defense Flickr - Joe Bide Nov 11 2021

Biden lays out wintertime plan to curb COVID's spread

It comes as the U.S. reported its second case of the omicron variant.

Willow River DOC

MN Dept. of Corrections offering $5K bonuses as it seeks to hire 200

The DOC is offering hiring bonuses for new employees and for referrals.


3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotan infected with omicron was vaccinated, had booster shot

The Hennepin County man received his booster shot in early November.


MnDOT tow plow snowplow

MnDOT: Don't be scared by our snow tow plow truck

The tow plow, which is like two plows in one, helps clear roads faster after it snows.


Want to buy a MnDOT snowplow? Here's how.

The state is auctioning off snowplows and a bunch of other random stuff.


Box truck fatally hits woman in wheelchair in Plymouth

The incident happened while the woman was in a crosswalk on Monday.

bicycle cyclist bike

Cyclist critically injured in hit-and-run in Plymouth

Police are seeking the public's help in locating the driver who fled.

Jay Boughton

Little League coach ID'd as driver fatally shot on Hwy. 169 in Plymouth

Police continue to seek the public's help in finding the shooter.

police lights

Police seek driver in fatal hit-and-run in Plymouth

The crash happened just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

police lights

Suspect arrested in death of man found in Inver Grove Heights snowbank

Police have identified the man who was killed as 39-year-old Bryant Lutgens.