Nine-year-old Chinese girl left paralysed from waist down after dance lesson

  • Child suffered spinal injuries when practising cartwheels and medical staff warn it may take years to regain some degree of mobility
PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 December, 2018, 3:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 December, 2018, 11:09pm

An eight-year-old girl in central China has been left paralysed from the waist down after practising cartwheels during a dance lesson, according to a Chinese media report.

The girl, identified by the nickname Han Han, collapsed during the class in Hunan province on November 17, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported.

She was told to take a break but the instructor later had her rejoin the class.

The girl was in severe pain by the time her father picked her up and complained of a loss of feeling in her legs.

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She was treated in four different hospitals before medical staff concluded she had suffered spinal injuries that had left her with paraplegia.

Medical staff told the girl’s parents that there was a chance she would be able to regain a degree of mobility, but warned that it may take years for her to recover.

The girl’s mother, identified only by her surname of Zhou, told the newspaper she was trying to find appropriate medication from a Beijing hospital.

The girl’s instructor has denied responsibility and said all the other children doing the same exercise were fine. There was no word on whether the inspector or school were being investigated by the authorities.

However, the report said the instructor also had refused to give reporters security camera footage from the class.

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According to the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald, Han Han’s mother has joined a WeChat group for parents of children with dance injuries. which has more than 200 members.

In February this year, a four-year-old in Henan province was also left paralysed in both legs after a dance lesson, Dahe Daily reported. The parents later discovered the dance studio was unlicensed.

The Yangtse Evening Post reported on a similar case in the eastern province of Jiangsu, which left a six-year-old girl paralysed for life.

In June this year, the parents of a nine-year-old girl who was left paralysed after a dance class in 2014 were awarded 2.4 million yuan (US$344,000) in damages by a Hainan court, People’s Daily reported.

Chinese parents are spending more on their children’s education, which includes extracurricular courses like dance, piano and art, among others.

The fees vary but Chinese “tiger parents” spend thousands on these courses in the hopes their child will have an edge over the other 10 million peers competing for spots in elite schools and universities.