Wyoming family push for winter sports safety after son’s crash

WYOMING, Michigan – Whether walking past his little sisters or practicing jumping, 8-year-old Jackson Chamberlain loves to move.

“Jackson is the super active climber, a fearless kid,” said Kerri Chamberlain, his mother.

Kerri says it’s hard to keep up with Jackson at times, but she cherishes the times she can see him play.

“If he had hit somewhere else the result would have been really different,” Kerri said. “We’re just really, really grateful.”

Around the same time last year, Jackson found himself confined to a bed at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital after crashing into a tree while sledding at Provin Trails in the North. east of Kent County.

“I remember saying, ‘Does anyone else think this is not safe? “Said Kerri. “I saw the trees; I saw how fast he was going. He fell… and I saw his head crash into a tree below and his body fell.

Doctors said Jackson fractured his skull, which caused a slight hemorrhage in his brain. He also broke his sinus cavities.

Jackson remained in the hospital for four days, then was ordered to limited activity for the next few months.

After a four-day hospital stay, Jackson was then sentenced to limited activity.

“Seeing him in this state, not knowing if he would live or die to be honest, to see him unconscious, that was really scary,” Kerri said.

According to DeVos Children’s Hospital, the hospital has seen a “significant increase” in sleigh accidents last year.

READ MORE: Winter storm warnings issued for Wednesday storm

On average, doctors treated one to three injured children sledding each week, in addition to the 5 to 10 children who came with injuries from other winter sports like ice skating and skiing. .

“We have seen significant and quite life-altering injuries for some children,” said Amber Mieras, pediatric trauma coordinator. “We really weren’t able to find an exact reason for what caused [the increase]. “

The 2021-2022 winter season got off to a slower start, but Mieras attributes it to the lack of snow.

With the storm forecast this week, Mieras is using families to put a helmet on your child in addition to any other recommended equipment.

“Anytime they’re doing something that moves them faster than their own two feet, it’s a good idea to have a helmet. We don’t know where this sled is going to go, ”Mieras said. “We can fix the ends; we can fix those kinds of things, but head injuries are … they can be really hard, and they can last a long time. “

Mieras also recommends that people choose open and safe spaces intended for activities in cold weather.

“Make sure you are in areas where you are not at risk of being hit by a car or hitting trees on your way down the hill,” Mieras said. “If you ski, go to a designated area. “

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