Australian children are spending more time playing on trampolines than ever, but they’re ignoring “safe jumping” guidelines and a whopping one in six bouncing kids are being injured. Experts are even drawing parallels with cage fighting. Gulp.
The fifth Australian Child Health Poll, on behalf of the Royal Children’s Hospital, revealed these trampoline safety concerns after surveying more than 2000 parents.
Ahead of Christmas, the hospital is warning parents that kids and trampolines require some careful consideration (and trampolines are not giant, bouncy babysitters!)
“Many families across the country will be making room for trampolines this Christmas and there’s no reason why they can’t be enjoyed,” poll director paediatrician Dr Anthea Rhodes explained.
However, Dr Rhodes encourages vigilance for trampolining families and issued a particular warning about allowing groups of kids to jump together.
“Trampolines can be safe if used properly, but allowing multiple children on a trampoline has been compared to cage fighting by our trauma service at The Royal Children’s Hospital,” Dr Rhodes said.
“It doesn’t matter what age your child is, to keep them safe on trampolines, my advice is to allow no more than one child at a time on the trampoline, and to supervise them at all times, regardless of their age.”
Not good enough
The poll findings included:
- 79 percent of Australian kids play on trampolines, with 68 percent riding bikes and 44 percent using scooters or skateboards.
- One in six trampolining kids had sustained injuries such as broken or fractured bones, concussion, sprains, cuts or bruises.
- 66 percent of kids who play on a trampoline do so without adult supervision.
- 20 percent of children who are under two-years-old and using trampolines are not always supervised by an adult.
- More than 80 percent of parents allow multiple children to jump on the trampoline at once, despite safety recommendations clearly stating that one-at-a-time is safest. In fact, one in five parents allow four or more kids to jump at the same time.
First Aid 101
The poll also raised concerns that many parents were unsure of basic first-aid for the kinds of injuries sustained on trampolines.
The Australian Red Cross also have a great app that covers the first-aid basics every parent needs.
Safe jumping rules for trampoline-loving kids
If you’re a little rusty on the kid-safe rules for happy, healthy bouncing, we’ve got you covered:
- Only jump when there is an adult supervising.
- Jump in the centre of the mat.
- One child at a time – no jumping together.
- Jump with bare feet.
- Never jump off the trampoline.
- Stand back when someone is jumping (no sitting on the padding!)
- Never crawl under the trampoline when someone is jumping.
- Only jump when the trampoline is dry.
- No somersaults or flips.
Parents’ tips for trampoline safety
- Parents should make sure the trampoline is locked or inaccessible when they’re not able to supervise kids.
- Check the trampoline often for tears or other faults that may affect safety.
- Ensure there is plenty of clearance around and above the trampoline.
- Use safety pads to cover trampoline springs, hooks and frame.
We’re seriously hoping that we see a drop in these injury stats and that parents take trampoline safety a lot more seriously, this summer and beyond.
What may look like bouncy fun can turn around very, very quickly.
Adhere to the safe-jumping guidelines, brush-up on your first aid skills and keep your child happy and healthy as they bounce!