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Trampolines Can Cause Spinal Injuries or Death

August 25th, 2011 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    0   comments

Summer may be drawing to a close, but your kids will be jumping on their backyard trampoline till the rains come. You’ll be watching them, of course, but did you know that more than half of all trampoline injuries occur under adult supervision? And almost 75 per cent of those injuries happen when more than one person is on the trampoline at the same time. The person weighing less is five times more likely to be injured than the heavier person. These are just a few of the sobering facts cited by the B.C. Injury Research and Prevention Unit in their Trampoline Safety Tips.

All too often, children – mostly aged 10 to 14 – fracture an arm, leg or their face. Strains and sprains are also common. In the most serious cases, kids injure their heads and necks, leading to paralysis or even death.

If you have a backyard trampoline, take some steps to ensure the safety of everyone on it.

  1. Supervise. If the kids in your neighbourhood get hurt on your trampoline when you’re not around, you may be liable. Your insurance company may cover the damages, but will likely try to recover its costs from you.
  2. Eliminate hazards. Make sure the surrounding area is clear of trees, fences, poles and other dangerous objects. There should be at least 3 metres of energy-absorbing surface (e.g. grass) around the trampoline and at least 6 metres of clearance above it.
  3. Check the equipment. Cover the entire spring system with a shock-absorbing frame pad. Replace any worn or missing parts. A net around the trampoline is a useful reminder of the boundaries.

And set firm rules for all users:

  • No children under 6 years old.
  • One person on the trampoline at a time.
  • No somersaults without proper training and supervision by someone skilled and experienced in complex manoeuvres.
  • No bouncing or jumping off the trampoline -- most injuries occur on landing.
  • Keep bounces low, under control and to the centre of the trampoline.
  • If you move away from the centre, perform a stop bounce after each sequence of skills.
  • No drugs or alcohol.
  • No necklaces.
  • Do not stand near a trampoline when someone is using it and do not go under it.

Trampolines may be fun, but they are not toys. Like any potentially hazardous equipment, a trampoline must be properly installed,maintained and used.

Author: Susanna Chu

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