‘Traumatized kids’: 1-year-old bear sprayed at Saskatoon Ex – Saskatoon

A mother says her one-year-old baby is recovering after getting bear sprayed at the Saskatoon Ex last week.

According to police, there were three reported incidents where bear spray was deployed that are being investigated.

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Keandra Williamson said she was at the ex with her family on Thursday.

She said her baby’s father went to sit down with her young daughter while Williamson was in line for food.

“It had happened right where he was sitting and we had caught the cloud so by the time I had a look to see where they were, I couldn’t find them,” Williamson told Global News of her child and the child’s father.

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Williamson said her family rushed the baby girl home to clean the bear spray off her.

“She was constantly crying. As soon as we got home, she was just screaming in pain. It was just awful.”

Williamson wants the person responsible for the incident to know the impact their actions had.

“(They) traumatized children. It’s terrible to think little kids have experienced this. They will always remember that this has happened to them at a place that was supposed to be somewhere to go for fun,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Final day at the Saskatoon Ex'

Final day at the Saskatoon Ex

Final day at the Saskatoon Ex – Aug 14, 2022

Williamson said it took her daughter up to three days to recover and she’s still rubbing her eyes and crying.

In a statement, Prairieland Park said they made their best efforts to stop the mace and bear spray incidents.

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“It’s unfortunate that the actions of a few have overshadowed the fair this year,” the statement read.

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Williamson suggested the Ex consider metal detectors.

Prairieland Park said this is a new challenge for them, and they will be looking to technology in the future to help them.

“Prairieland is already researching body scanners and metal detectors to be used at large-scale public events on the Park,” the statement added.

A first for paramedics

The incidents of bear spray at the Ex are a first for Medavie Health Services West, which has been a part of the event since 1999.

Medavie spokesperson Troy Davies said paramedics treated five separate patients during the week as well as roughly 50 patients during a bear spray incident that took place during the Trooper concert on Saturday night.

Davies said the incidents caused a lot of disruption and kept paramedics busy.

“Especially if people get it in their eyes — that’s where it’s the most irritating. It’s a chemical that’s on your skin and it causes instant pain,” Davies said.

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Davies said while getting bear sprayed isn’t life threatening, it’s not something people can just walk away from.

For those at the concert, Davies said some people weren’t directly sprayed but had it on their clothing or rubbed their eyes.

Davies added it’s upsetting to know children were sprayed as well.

“Having them experience that is quite brutal,” Davies said. “At the end of the day, nobody was transported (to hospital), which is good. It’s just something that hopefully we don’t see again.”

Davies added he hopes it’s not a trend that continues at other major events in the city.

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