The Yukon government plans to conduct regular inspections of all soccer goals across the territory, following a report by the territory’s chief coroner.
Jaedyn Amann, five, was killed last summer when a collapsible soccer net fell on her head.
Several children were playing around the net at the time. One child was seen touching or shaking the side support strut, which, the coroner concluded, caused the net to collapse.
Amann, who was crawling in the grass, was struck on the head by the 80-kilogram net. She was rushed to hospital but succumbed to her injuries a few hours later.
Amann’s was the third-reported death from a collapsible soccer net in Canada. In the U.S., soccer goals like the one in Watson Lake have caused at least 21 deaths and more than 120 injuries.
The coroner found that the soccer net in Watson Lake was in poor condition at the time of the accident.
The goal was rusted, screws were missing and there was no locking mechanism to hold the struts in place.
In tests conducted after the accident it wasn’t hard to collapse the goal.
“In the test the net collapsed easily by an adult applying pressure of just one finger to the soccer goal,” stated the report.
The Yukon’s chief coroner, Kirsten Macdonald, ruled Amann’s death accidental, but made seven recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents.
In addition to requiring inspections, Macdonald recommended that legislation be introduced that speaks to safety, standards, anchoring and safe-storage practices.
The government has already introduced a motion in the legislature to put such a law in place.
Macdonald is also calling for procurement records to be kept and regularly reviewed to identify recall notices or potential safety hazards. The government should establish a policy for tracking and addressing soccer net safety concerns. Any manufacturers’ labels should be permanently and clearly displayed and warning labels should also be put on all soccer goals.
Finally, the government should engage in a public education campaign regarding soccer net safety.