Kids with trampoline injuries clogging up A&Es

Trampoline and bouncing castles are causing preventable accidents that are clogging up our emergency departments.

Kids with trampoline injuries clogging up A&Es

Internationally, trampoline-caused injuries have doubled in the last 10 years.

Each May VHI SwiftCare clinics treat about 60 bounce-related injuries and 65% of those patients have a fracture, such as a broken arm or leg.

Spokesman for the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, Fergal Hickey, said emergency departments see a spike in trampoline-caused injuries during the summer months, and that incidents are on the increase.

“The injuries associated with trampolines in children have also become increasingly frequent and many victims of such injuries present to emergency departments, particularly during the summer,” Mr Hickey, an emergency medicine consultant said.

“International evidence suggests that trampoline- associated injuries have doubled in the past decade and elsewhere there have been deaths associated with trampoline use, mainly from head and high spinal cord injuries,” Mr Hickey said.

According to the VHI’s statistics, 60% of the bounce-related injuries were caused by trampolines and 40% occurred on bouncy castles.

They have three SwiftCare clinics in Ireland — two in Dublin and one in Cork — and young people accounted for the highest number of patients presenting with bounce-related injuries.

People aged 11 to 20 accounted for the largest number of presentations, at 57% and under-10s made up 35% of the cases.

Girls are more likely to suffer a fall than boys, with 65% of patients being female.

There are no collated statistics from the 29 hospital emergency departments across Ireland, on similar injuries, but Mr Hickey said that incidences are increasing.

The consultant said that basic common-sense things can be done to prevent any injuries.

“Limit the number of people on the trampoline at any one time. Don’t mix children, as in children of different sizes. It’s the application of common sense,” he said. In his emergency department in Sligo University Hospital, trampoline-associated accidents present from Easter to early autumn.

The consultant also advises people to place a protective netting around the trampoline and said not to have them near a hard surface or a wall.

Michelle De Brun, medical director of VHI SwiftCare clinics echoes Mr Hickey’s advice and adds that adults should only go on a trampoline or bouncy castle if they haven’t consumed alcohol.

“If adults decide to try their bouncing skills insist on one person at a time and ensure no alcohol has been consumed.

“While most of the accidents we see are in children, last year 3% of the bounce-related injuries treated in the VHI SwiftCare clinics were in those aged over 21,” said Dr De Brun.

Mr Hickey said that most accidents take place on the bed of the trampoline and when there are more than one person on it.

“Most falls [60%] occur while on the bed of the trampoline not as a result of a fall off the trampoline, and are entirely preventable.

“In 35% of cases the injury was related to the presence of others on the trampoline,” Mr Hickey said.

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