Stay trampoline safe this summer

GARDEN trampolines are great exercise and fun for all the family, but can lead to serious injuries if not used safely.

In Northern Ireland numerous children are admitted to hospital every summer with serious fractures, head injuries and soft tissue injuries, from trampoline related accidents.

Many more children and young people attend A&E departments across the province requiring hospital treatment for trampoline related injuries.

Moyle Home Accident Group are urging parents to ensure their children play safely on trampolines this summer so that unnecessary accidents can be avoided.

Most injuries occur when there is more than one person on the trampoline, when young children are left unsupervised, when there is a missing net or missing padding around the frame and when children try to do risky stunts.

Helen Harding, Moyle HAP Chairperson explains: “Trampolines can be enjoyed safely if a few simple guidelines are followed and they are used with caution”.

Moyle HAP would advise parents to follow these few simple guidelines to ensure children stay trampoline safe:

* Trampolines should have safety padding and safety nets, the padding should cover the springs, hooks and frames and safety nets should be securely fastened before use.

* Trampolines should be placed in an area clear from hazards such as trees, fences, washing lines, poles and other equipment. Toys and bikes should not be left in the immediate area around the trampoline.

* Place the trampoline on soft, energy absorbing ground, eg soft and springy lawn or bark wood chipping, sand or cushioning materials. Trampolines should never be placed on hard surfaces.

* Trampolines are unsuitable for babies, toddlers and very young children. Always check and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

* Adults should supervise at all times when the trampoline is in use.

* Never allow more than one person on the trampoline at the same time.

* Check the trampoline padding, safety nets and ladder regularly for faults, preferably every time before use.

Parents are also reminded to highlight to children the risks associated when trampolining. An easy acronym to remember is J.U.M.P. Just one person should use a trampoline at a time, Use control and bounce in the middle, Make your way off the trampoline safely- don’t bounce or jump off, Prevent injure by avoiding risky stunts! JUMP will help children take responsibility and help keep themselves and others trampoline safe.

As part of the Trampoline Safety initiative Moyle Home Accident Prevention (HAP) group are helping to raise awareness in local Primary Schools throughout the district by running a Poster Competition to highlight the importance of trampoline safety at home in the run up to summer.

If you require any further information regarding any of the above, or you would like a copy of ‘Trampoline Safety – A Parents Guide’ leaflet please do not hesitate to contact Moyle District Council, Home Safety Officer, Sheskburn House, 7 Mary Street, Ballycastle, Telephone 02820762225 or email hap@moyle-council.org