In 2010 our then eight year old daughter fell 32 feet off of a ski lift while sitting with an adult and another child. This fall resulted in a 21 day hospital stay including 10 in PICU on life-support. She had near fatal injuries to her right kidney and liver which resulted in the removal of her right kidney and approximately 30 units of blood product replacement.
Since the accident it has been our daughter’s desire and ours to advocate for a common sense safety option not currently available on many ski lifts. In February of 2012 we gained the support of the California Ski Industry Association (CSIA), the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization (CSSSO), and the SnowSport Safety Foundation to further this discussion. In April of 2012 we gained the support of the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
As we advocate for updated ski lift safety standards we are asking resorts to increase their education of proper chair use as this information is typically passed down from parents to child or is peer taught. This includes sitting “back to back” (though difficult for the child on a bench sized for the adult femur), gripping the back of the chair or side and utilizing a safety restraint, if provided.