Trampoline injury cases on the rise at UHG’s A&E department

The number of children attending University Hospital Galway’s emergency department due to injuries from using trampolines is on the rise.

John O’Donnell, consultant in emergency medicine at the west’s biggest hospital, says the most common types of injuries from trampoline and bouncy castles are musculoskeletal including neck, wrist, ankle and knee.

The chances of having an accident increase greatly if more than one person uses a trampoline, regardless of size, shape or make, and from trampolines without protective netting. Many accidents occur when children come into contact with others, jump and do flips, somersaults, etc. The HSE West says it is important that people use trampolines safely and offer the following safety guidelines for parents:-

Purchase

If you are considering buying a trampoline consider the decision carefully as there are many risks involved in trampoline use. Children under six years old are particularly vulnerable to injury.

If you decide to purchase a trampoline ensure that the model comes with a safety net and pad and meets the BS EN 13219 standard.

Location

Choose a clear area to position a trampoline away from walls, trees, fences, steps and equipment. Ideally there should be a safe fall zone completely around it.

Place the trampoline on soft even ground, eg grass. Never place it on a hard surface such as concrete even if you have safety netting and matting.

If possible lower the trampoline bed to ground level.

Avoid using a ladder with the trampoline.

Before using the trampoline

Set rules about using the trampoline and discuss these with your children

Tell them about the risk of not using the trampoline safely

Ensure they remove any jewellery, necklaces, watches or any clothing that may catch in the trampoline

Inspect it to ensure there are no holes, the padding is correctly and securely positioned and there is no damage to springs, and frame

Take off shoes and wear non-slip socks

Tie back long hair

Using the trampoline

An adult should supervise at all times

Don’t allow children under six years to use it

Take turns - only one person on the trampoline at a time at all times

Never try somersaults or flips

Always bounce in the middle of the trampoline

Never jump or run off the trampoline onto the ground. Stop and then climb down

Stand back. Keep back from the trampoline when someone else is jumping

Watch out underneath. Ensure that no one goes under the trampoline when someone else is jumping

Out of order. Ensure that no one uses the trampoline if there is a rip or split in the mat.

People interested in trampolining may like to join a gymnastics or trampoline club. Information on clubs and courses is available from Irish Gymnastics - www.irishgymnastics.ie Further information on safety is available on www.rospa.com and www.safekids.co.uk

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