Parents are being warned about the potential dangers of trampolines and bouncy castles.
During the month of May last year VHI Swiftcare Clinics treated 63 patients for bounce-related breaks and sprains. More than 200 bounce-related injuries were treated in the Vhi SwiftCare Clinics throughout the summer last year.
60% of them happened while on a trampoline, and a 40% while on a bouncy castle. 38% of the bounce injuries occurred in children under 10, while 57% were in those aged 11 to 21.
The youngest person injured was just under three years of age while the oldest was 53.
Girls were slightly more likely to injure themselves than boys.
Overall, lower limbs such as legs, ankles and feet were much more likely to be injured, accounting for 57% of the bounce-related injuries treated in May 2014.
Nurse Manager at VHI Swiftcare Clinics Kay Harkin said adults should remember if they've had a beer, not to have a bounce.
"If adults are inclined to bounce, it should be in the absolute absence of any alcohol," she said.
Medical Director at Vhi SwiftCare Clinics Dr Brian Gaffney said: "May is typically when we start to see injuries of this kind. In the first two weeks of the month, we have treated approximately 23 bounce-related injuries.
"While the weather tends to be warmer in May, it can also be showery which can make trampolines and bouncy castles particularly slippy and dangerous.
"We are calling on parents to take a number of straight-forward precautions with a view to minimising the chance of their child incurring a nasty break or sprain.
The precautions include:
- Ideally only one child should be on a trampoline or bouncy castle where possible. If this isn’t the case then ensure that the children are the same age and size and aren’t wearing any shoes or sharp items (such as belts etc).
- Do not allow anyone – adult or child – to attempt somersaults or flips on a trampoline or bouncy castle. This is extremely dangerous and could lead to spinal injuries, concussion or a host of serious injuries.
- Inspect the netting around trampolines to make sure there aren’t any gaps or tears and make sure bouncy castles are correctly anchored before use.
- If it has been raining, make sure that surfaces are dried off thoroughly – bouncing on slippery surfaces is a recipe for disaster.