Doctors at Kingston Hospital in Surrey have revealed that the number of children being treated for accidents on a trampoline have been increasing, as parents often ignore the manufacturer's safety advice.
Writing in the Emergency Medicine Journal, they have stressed the need for greater awareness among parents about the dangers.
AdvertisementThey say that over 50 per cent of the 131 children treated at the hospital's emergency department last summer had no nets on their trampoline, and no adult supervision.
They add that the commonest injury was a soft tissue sprain followed by fractures, head injury, and cuts.
According to the doctors, most of the children they treated had been playing on the trampoline with other people at the time of their accident.
They revealed that 18 children were operated, and 28 referred to a fracture or ear nose and throat clinic.
They also said that the average age of the children was 8.8 years, and 92 (70 per cent) were boys.
Lead researcher Dr. Dan Harris said that he had been surprised by how significant some of the injuries were.
"It's difficult because I can see lots of trampolines in gardens in the Kingston area and clearly only a small percentage of the children are getting injured but some of those injuries are life-changing fractures which will cause continual joint problems," the BBC quoted him as saying.
About 20 per cent of the injuries were sustained by children under five, who had been playing on large trampolines of more than 10 feet in diameter.
The Kingston doctors also revealed that about a third of the children (42) were injured after purposely jumping from the trampoline or accidentally falling off it.
Taking careful records of how the accidents occurred, they observed that where netting and padding was in place on the trampoline, adults were often lured into a false sense of security and left the children unsupervised, which in turn led to more risk-taking activities and more injuries.
Upon following up 90 per cent of the patients with a call, the doctors found that 115 had continued to use the trampoline after or, in some cases, during their recovery phase.
However, all 119 parents reported that their own attitude to supervision and allowing several children on at the same time had changed.
Dr. Harris said: "Unfortunately, for all them it took an injury to their child to initiate such change."
Dr. John Heyworth, of the College of Emergency Medicine, said the numbers of trampolines seemed to have exploded in recent years and the number of injuries from them around the UK was continuing to rise.
He said: "Parents need to make sure the fun is harmless - it's common sense - follow the recommended guidelines and children can still let off steam safely."
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