Parents are being warned about the potential dangers posed by trampolines and bouncy castles after a rise in the number of injuries.
One chain of clinics is reporting the numbers being treated for “bounce”-related breaks and sprains in May is even higher than the same month last year, when 60 such cases were seen.
A spokesperson for Vhi Swiftcare said: “The team in the clinics estimate that these types of injuries were up approximately 5pc in May this year, compared to the same period last year.”
In relation to the cases seen in May last year, 65pc of patients needed treatment for a broken arm or leg and the remainder suffered sprains.
More than half (57pc) of the presentations were in the 11-20 age group. The second highest age category was the under-tens, accounting for 35pc of the breaks and sprains.
Girls are much more likely to suffer a fall than boys, at 65pc compared to 35pc, and the lower limbs were more likely to be injured.
Dr Brian Gaffney, Medical Director of VHI Swiftcare Clinics said: “Anecdotally we are seeing more of these type of injuries that last year.”
It has noted a trend over the last number of years that more parents are investing in trampolines or hiring bouncy castles for birthday parties.
Last year, trampolines accounted for a slightly higher number of injuries (53pc) than bouncy castles (47pc), which Dr Gaffney believes may be down to the fact that more families are purchasing these, and they are, therefore, a permanent feature in the garden.
“Weather can play a part as even a light rain shower can make a trampoline or bouncy castle dangerously slippery, and children can suffer a nasty break,” he said.
Dr Gaffney said: “We are calling on parents to take a number of straightforward precautions with a view to minimising bumps and bruises, and reducing the number of these types of injuries we treat this summer.”
He suggested that there should always be a responsible adult supervising this type of activity.
“Most accidents take place in that split second when backs are turned and attention is elsewhere,” he pointed out.
A spokesperson for VHI said that the figures for May this year are provisional.