There’s probably nothing that’s more fun in summer than jumping on a trampoline in the backyard. It’s a great way to encourage kids to exercise and helps them to develop confidence, balance and coordination.
Trampoline-related injuries are however a serious issue. “More than 300 children are hospitalised every year, mostly during the summer months. The most common were fractures (83%) and injuries to the head and lower limbs,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa
“A trampoline is a piece of athletic equipment that must be installed, maintained and used correctly to minimise the injury risks to children,” Ms Weaver added.
Don’t let trampoline falls ruin the fun for you this summer. Safekids Aotearoa and Starship Foundation offer simple tips to parents and caregivers when children use trampolines.
- Make sure it’s in good nick: Strictly follow the manufacturer’s assembly and placement instructions. For old trampolines, check that the mat is in good condition, safety pads are in place, springs are intact, the frame is not bent, leg braces are locked, and that it is on a soft level ground.
- Have a 2 metre ‘safe’ space: Keep a safe distance from walls, clothesline, trees, fences or furniture. Make sure nothing is above and underneath it (such as branches, toys, children and animals).
- Age appropriateness: Kids under six years should not use trampolines that are designed for older children (check the manufacturer’s recommended age use).
- One at a time: Two or more jumpers can cause a ‘double bounce’ and collisions that can lead to a serious injury.
- Enter and exit safely: Set a firm rule: climb on and climb off.
- Keep in control: Always supervise children as overconfidence can lead to a serious fall. Taking them to a trampoline park where they can learn to do flips and other tricks safely is a good idea.
Visit our falls injury prevention page for more information on this issue.
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