As the country heads into the summer holidays RoSPA is encouraging parents to enable their kids to have fun while staying safe on garden trampolines, to avoid an unwanted trip to A&E.
A study from family safety charity RoSPA, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and Oxford University Hospitals Trust revealed that an estimated 13,000 trampolining injuries are treated in English A&E departments every year, at an annual cost to the NHS of £1.5million*.
Trampolining is a great source of aerobic exercise for children, and a way for them to enjoy the outdoors, but if used incorrectly trampolines can also be a source of traumatic – and easily avoided – injuries. Trampolining injuries can occur to all parts of the body, including the neck, arms, legs, face and head. Head and neck injuries are the most serious injuries associated with trampolines. The most common injuries are caused by awkward landings and include sprains or fractures to the wrist, forearm, elbow and collarbone.
To ensure children can enjoy their garden trampolines, RoSPA has the following advice for parents and carers:
- Trampolining isn't suitable for children under the age of six because they're not sufficiently physically developed to control their bouncing
- Adult supervision is no guarantee of safety. More than half of all trampoline accidents occur while under supervision. However a 'spotter' can greatly reduce this risk
- Take turns, one at a time! Sixty per cent (three out of five) of injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline. The person weighing less is five times more likely to be injured
- Don't allow somersaults or complicated moves – unless trained and highly skilled
- Don’t allow a bouncing exit
- Never combine alcohol with trampolining! Children have been hurt while bouncing with adults who have been drinking at summer garden parties
- Whatever your ability level, join a local trampolining club to learn new trampolining skills, ranging from the basics of landing safely to advanced moves such as somersaults.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “We want to see kids getting outside to get fit, healthy and active, and learning to manage the risks they will encounter in everyday life.
“But injury stops play, and some of the injuries sustained on garden trampolines seen in A&E departments across the country can be really traumatic, not just for the child but for their family and friends too. However these are easily avoided, by following our safety tips.”
For more information on garden trampoline safety, including what to look out for when buying, placing and maintaining trampolines, see www.rospa.com/trampolining.
*Figures were collected at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust between January 2012 and March 2014. In this period, nearly 21,000 children aged 0-19 attended A&E having suffered an injury, with 258 of these cases involving trampolines at home. A new Emergency Care Data Set is now in operation at A&E departments across the UK and it is hoped that the system will provide fresh national data to further our understanding of home and leisure accidents, such as those involving trampolines.