A fundraiser for a Calgary teen paralyzed in a tobogganing accident has raised over $20,000 in just two weeks.
Alex, whose family requests his last name not be published, was tobogganing with friends on the evening of Dec. 21, 2015, when he ran into a light post, according to a blog documenting his recovery. Alex told his friends he couldn't feel his legs and they immediately called 911.
The 15-year-old received back surgery and remains in hospital. Before the accident, Alex was a cadet and played high school football, according to his family's blog.
The funds — which were raised by a GoFundMe titled "Rally 4 Alex!" — will go toward modifying the family's home, purchasing a wheelchair and other medical expenses.
Since the accident, Alex's parents have called for increased safety measures at the hill in the northwest Calgary neighbourhood of Silver Springs where the teen was injured.
A post on the blog documenting Alex's recovery calls for the city to either put up signage warning about possible danger at the hill or put a fence around the pole to make the area safer.
The City of Calgary lists only 21 legal locations for tobogganing or sledding, and the Silver Springs hill is not one of them. The 21 hills are maintained by the city, and regularly inspected to determine if they're safe. Calgarians wanting a hill to be considered for the list can call 311 to have the hill assessed by city staff.
Hills not listed by the city are illegal to sled on, and could land tobogganers a $100 fine.
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DO maintain clearly defined rink-edges on an outdoor ice rink, advises The Backyard Ice Rink. This prevents skaters from slipping on unexpected icy patches surrounding the rink when they’re travelling to and from the venue.
DON’T allow body checking, which can be particularly dangerous on ice because of the skates, goal posts and boards in the mix. According to Mom’s Team , this kind of aggressive contact is responsible for 46 per cent of all minor injuries in ice hockey, and 75 per cent of major injuries. Body checking injuries are especially likely if someone is slammed into a goal post or up against the boards.
DO patch chips or holes on the rink so players don’t trip. If you’re at an indoor arena, advise one of the staff about any blemishes in the ice immediately. If you’re at an outdoor rink, flood and smooth out the uneven patches as soon as possible. If the ridge is particularly deep and it’s not possible to smooth it out right away, cover it with a brightly coloured pylon to help players avoid it.
DON’T let your kids wear ill-fitting skates. In addition to falls and blisters, they could also lead to frostbite on cold ice rinks, warns HealthyChildren.org. Be sure your kids try skates on while wearing the heavy winter socks they’ll be playing in so you don’t inadvertently buy skates that are too tight.
DO immediately clear debris off the ice, advises the City of Edmonton in its Ice Arena Guidelines. Whether it’s garbage 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, suggests The Backyard Ice Rink . If players don’t see them, they may become tripping hazards — or the players’ skates could even slice through the cords.
DO encourage your kids to learn how to fall properly to avoid injuries, recommends the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. They should practice falling in a way that protects their limbs and, most importantly, their heads.