Parents across Bristol are being encouraged to teach their children how to use garden trampolines safely in order to enjoy an injury free summer.
Avonsafe Bristol, the local injury prevention organisation, has commissioned the campaign and teamed up with University Hospitals Bristol and local charity Lifeskills in order to communicate messages about how to have fun safely.
In Bristol during 2013 almost 15,500 children aged 0-15 years needed emergency treatment at hospital. An estimated 2.5 per cent (387) of the injuries happened when using garden trampolines and it is likely that thousands of minor injuries which didn't require emergency treatment will have occurred.
Dr Giles Haythornthwaite, paediatric emergency medicine consultant at University Hospitals Bristol and who leads the major trauma theme of the Child Injury Health Integration Team, said: "Across the country, a surprising number of children are taken to hospital with garden trampoline-related injuries, which are often the result of using the equipment incorrectly. The most common injuries are limb fractures, including more serious open fractures and elbow fractures, which can often require surgery. Significant head and neck injuries are also possible.
"With summer just around the corner, it's important that parents know how to set up garden trampolines correctly and follow the golden rules, such as just one person jumping at a time."
To raise awareness with parents, posters and leaflets will be displayed in key locations such as GP surgeries, schools and Bristol children's hospital, as well as in toy stores where people can buy garden trampolines.
To engage with the children directly, Lifeskills is running a competition with all Bristol primary schools where pupils can win a free trampoline session at local club, Axis.
Councillor Daniella Radice, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods with responsibility for Public Health, said: "Trampolines are great fun for children but their use is risky and should only be used by one child at a time. If you can get your children to a trampolining club, this will build up their trampolining skills in a safe environment".
Rob Benington, from Public Health Bristol, said: "Bristol has excellent trampoline clubs where children can use a proper Olympic sized trampoline and learn skills that might start a habit that can last a lifetime. This summer we are encouraging parents to take their children to visit the clubs so they can 'try before you buy' - and we hope lots of school children will engage with the Lifeskills competition as well."
For more information or to download the safety poster visit https://www.tinyurl.com/avonsafe-trampolines
Details about Axis Trampoline Club can be found here: http://www.axistrampolineclub.co.uk/
Avonsafe's top tips on how to enjoy garden trampolines safely:
- Take your turn: Most injuries happen when there's more than one child on the trampoline at the same time. This is especially true when one person on the trampoline is bigger than the other. Taking your turn means that fewer injuries will occur, which makes it more fun for everyone.Games that groups can play one at a time are posted on the website.
- Check the set-up: Garden trampolines should come with nets and safety pads and it's important to make sure these are all in place before bouncing begins.
- Clear up the clutter: the chance of injuries happening is lower when the trampoline is clear of toys, pets and clutter.
- Look for damage: when you first set up your new trampoline make sure to check the equipment properly.
- Choose your position: Garden trampolines should not be placed near fences, washing lines or trees, which can cause injuries if you fall off. They should also be positioned on a soft surface such as grass.
- Clear the area: the space underneath the trampoline should be clear of objects - always check before you start to bounce.
- Be careful with your tricks: attempting somersaults can lead to life-changing injuries and should never be attempted on garden trampolines. Try a session at your local club to experiment with some new moves.
- Finally, after you've had fun bouncing in the garden, make sure you climb off the trampoline safely to avoid any awkward landings.
Details of local trampoline clubs can be found at www.axistrampolineclub.co.uk