Trampolines may be great fun and children love them, but they are also a major cause of injury. The chances of having an accident increase greatly if more than one person uses a trampoline, regardless of size, shape, or make. This is something that the emergency department at University Hospital Galway is only too aware of, as the numbers of children attending due to injuries from trampolines has increased.
According to John O’Donnell, consultant in emergency medicine, University Hospital Galway, the most common types of injuries due to trampoline and bouncy castles are musculoskeletal including neck, wrist, ankle, and knee injuries. The highest risk of injury is when there is more than one child on the trampoline and from trampolines without the protective netting.
Important information for parents regarding trampoline safety:
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 do decide to purchase a trampoline ensure that the model come with safety net and pad and meets the BS EN 13219 standard.
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 the trampoline. Place the trampoline on soft, even ground. If possible lower the trampoline bed to ground level.
Set rules about using the trampoline and discuss them with your children. Ensure that children remove any jewellery, necklaces, watches, or any clothing that may catch in the trampoline. Inspect the trampoline to ensure that there are no holes and the padding is correctly and securely positioned and there is no damage to springs or frame. Take off shoes and wear non-slip socks. Tie back long hair.
An adult should supervise at all times. Don’t allow children under six years old 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. Keep back from the trampoline when someone else is jumping. Ensure that no one goes under the trampoline when someone else is jumping, and ensure that no one uses the trampoline if there is a rip or split in the mat.
This article was compiled by Health Promotion Services, Galway Healthy Cities Forum, and University Hospital Galway.