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Magnets secure kids to chairlfts
Tuesday December 2, 2008 - Email this article to a friend

Sounds odd, but it's true and it works. It follows a number of recent accidents with children falling off lifts.

After a number of accidents some resorts in the Three Valleys in France are expanding the use of the so-called "Magnestick".

Children wear a special bib over their ski clothes with a magnet on the back and on certain lifts they are held in place so they don't slip under the bar. It was tried out in Courchevel last winter and now the programme is to be expanded to other lifts in the resort, and La Tania and Meribel are joining in.

magnet_2_400There are plans for even more next winter too.

The magnet is activated as the child gets on the lift and then released just before they get off.  Eevn if the safety bar is raised the magnet is still active.

“In the morning, the child puts on the high visibility protection pack over their own ski jacket, keeping it on for the whole day." says the project manager of the scheme, Damien Laymond. "As well as ensuring the child does not fall off the lift it also protects the spine while the child is skiing or snowboarding."

So, are there many cases of children falling off lifts?

Well, sadly yes.

A spokesperson for the French resorts says 100's of children fall off lifts though fortunately there are few serious injuries.  However in one Swiss resort 2 years ago a child fell off the lift while with a ski school and died.

Take a look at the planetSKI giude to family sking.

The following chairlifs in the Three Valleys are equipped for 08/09 winter season.


Méribel
Les Arolles
Les Combes
Le Chatelet
 
Courchevel
Le signal at 1650
Pralong at 1850
 
La Tania
Dou des Lanches

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