8 safekids news | April 2018 ISSUE No 79 6 OUT OF 7 TRAMPOLINES NOT UP TO SCRATCH Consumer’s February 2018 issue featured the results of tests on seven trampolines. Six out of the seven trampolines failed the tests – a concerning result, given the large number of domestic trampolines in New Zealand, and the burgeoning number of trampoline parks across the country. ACC figures cited in the article reported 11,580 injuries in 2016, an increase of 4000 since 2013. Consumer suggests the reasons for the high figures are twofold – use, eg, several children bouncing at the same time, and the lack of a standard. The NZ standard was withdrawn in in 2015 and hasn’t been replaced, although some are using the voluntary Australian standard AS 4989:2015 as a guide. In the 6 year period, 2012 to 2017, 372 children aged 0 to 14 years were admitted to Starship Children’s Hospital following a trampoline related injury. Starship admissions data revealed that the average age for trampoline injuries was 7 years. Almost half of all trampoline related injuries involved children aged 5 to 9 years (45%). Girls (54%) were slightly more likely to be injured than boys. Injuries were more prevalent during summer months and school holidays. The most common way children are injured on trampolines is when they fall on or off the trampoline and land on a hard surface or object (70%). Other injuries involve children landing awkwardly while jumping (14%), colliding with another person whilst bouncing (8%), and children performing flips (5%). The three leading trampoline injury diagnoses are fractures to the limbs, head and neck region, followed by superficial, and contusion injuries, which are mostly strains, and sprains to limbs and the head and neck region. The third leading cause is lacerations, usually to limbs and the groin area. Trampolines located at home or on a farm accounted for around three out of five trampoline related injuries. The second leading places trampoline injuries occur, are public buildings and recreational park areas which includes trampoline parks (15%). A recent Finnish paper looked at types of severe trampoline injuries. These included injury to head, neck, spine, chest wall and other parts of the body. The study found that the risk factors included: multiple jumpers, stunts, younger age, previous injuries, insufficient use of safety equipment and lack of adult supervision. The main circumstance of the serious injuries was ‘failed backflips’. An Australian paper published in February this year looked at the increase in the rates of injuries as trampoline parks expand in Australia. They highlight that some of these injuries result in lifelong disabilities for the children. The paper suggests that it would help to make the national safety standards for trampoline parks mandatory. Below are some key safety messages and tips to reinforce in your work with whānau. For more, see the Safekids position paper Child trampoline injury prevention. Installation and maintenance • Place the trampoline on soft, level ground, such as grass or bark. • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to install, locate, maintain the trampoline. • The area around, under and near the trampoline should be free of obstacles. • Secure the trampoline to the ground or something solid. There have been plenty of cases in NZ of trampolines being airlifted and blown to new locations in severe weather. • Regular checks and maintenance of trampolines lowers the risk of the trampoline failing because of damage or faults to the equipment. Use • Children should wear appropriate clothing – no jewellery or sharp objects. • Children should be supervised by an adult when playing on trampolines. • One child at a time on a trampoline. • Bounce in the middle of the trampoline. • Don’t deliberately bounce off the nets. • No flips or somersaults. • Climb up and down, don’t jump off the trampoline. • Children under 6 should have their own age appropriate trampoline. REFERENCES 1. Springtime: how safe are trampolines? Consumer, 587, February 2018: p. 31-33. 2. Korhonen, L. et al. (2017). Severe trampoline injuries: incidence and risk factors in children and adolescents. Eur. J. Pediatr. Surg. ePub(ePub): ePub. 3. Sharwood, L.N. et al. (2018). Increasing injuries as trampoline parks expand within Australia: a call for mandatory standards. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Online, 14 February. DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12783 STARSHIP CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS Seasonal injuries, Children aged 0-14 years, 2012-2017 STARSHIP CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS Children aged 0-14 years, 2012-2017 Winter 12% Summer 36% Spring 28% Autumn 24% 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 5-9 YEARS 10-14 YEARS 0-4 YEARS 0-4 YEARS 5-9 YEARS 10-14 YEARS TOTAL 2012 11 24 12 47 2013 23 29 9 61 2014 20 28 14 62 2015 18 22 28 68 2016 14 28 24 66 2017 7 36 25 68 TOTAL 93 167 112 372