Warning as trampoline injuries rise
Emergency doctors have warned parents about the risks of children playing on trampolines.
The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine says the number of children being injured from this type of play is becoming increasingly frequent.
Although the total number of child trampoline-associated injuries presenting at emergency departments is not recorded, the doctors say they are aware of a surge in such accidents.
Tim McKeown of Vhi Swiftcare Clinics says they have also "noted an increase in children being treated for injuries associated with trampoline or bouncing castle use".
The association says for every child admitted to hospital a further 12 are seen and treated in the emergency department without the need for orthopaedic follow-up.
The doctors warn that the main injuries seen from children hurt on such play equipment is upper limb fractures.
Most accidents happen when the children are on the bed of the trampoline itself and not from falling off it, as might be expected, and these injuries are entirely preventable.
A study carried out at Waterford Regional Hospital over a six-month period found that 88 children injured playing on trampolines needed orthopedic specialist treatment and almost 40 required surgery.
More than a third of the injuries reported related to other people being on the trampoline at the same time.
In four out of 10 cases, an adult was present when the injury occurred.
A study at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin found that the recreational use of trampolines has increased dramatically in the past decade with a "striking increase" in the numbers of children presenting to fracture clinics as a result.
The researchers looked at 101 patients treated for related injuries over three months.
The average age of the children was eight-and-a-half. More than half had broken bones, more than a third had soft-tissue injuries, five had head injuries and five had neck injuries.
A fifth were admitted to hospital and 12 had to be taken to theatre.