1800 trampoline injuries have paramedics jumping
WE'VE all seen and laughed at video clips of people falling off trampolines but NSW Ambulance is spreading a message of caution.
In the past three years NSW paramedics have attended almost 1800 incidents involving trampolines.
Injuries have ranged from spinal fractures, broken bones, to loss of teeth and loss of dignity for some senior patients.
NSW Ambulance District Inspector Norm Rees said there were two key tips for trampoline use - that children are supervised at all times, and older people assess their ability first before climbing on board.
"Paramedics treated a range of patients from children as young as 12 months to adults aged into their 50s and 60s who discovered the hard way they may not be as limber as they used to be," Inspector Rees said.
1781 incidents over three years across NSW
2014 - 636
2015 - 569
2016 - 576
Males - 1003
Females - 778
Age <10 - 894
11-20 - 709
41-60 - 51
Inspector Rees said that with the majority of patients being young children, it is imperative they are supervised to ensure their safety.
"In addition, no more than one person should be allowed on the trampoline at a time," he said.
"Many children were injured while jumping with others - the more children on board, the more likely one will fall on to another, or land awkwardly and injure themselves."
Inspector Rees said the NSW Ambulance data showed the range of pitfalls involved with trampoline use, and activities to avoid.
Activities to avoid
"Don't put a trampoline near a fence or other structure, or use it as a springboard into a pool or elsewhere. Use it for what it's intended," he said.
"On one occasion a 13-year-old boy in the Hunter used a trampoline to launch his dirt bike, resulting in fractures to his wrist and collarbone.
"Handstands and cartwheels should be avoided, also tricks beyond a person's ability or skill set. We've treated plenty of patients whose knees have connected with their heads, knocking out their teeth or breaking their noses.
"Activities such as 'double bouncing' (one person bouncing another) and 'cracking the egg' (one person curls in a ball while another jumps around them until they 'open') are also ill-advised."
Inspector Rees said trampolines should be well-maintained to avoid further injury.
"Ensure you have protection around the spring area and surrounds - that they're adequately padded.
"Also, ensure the trampoline mat is in good order. Quite often the trampoline sits out in the sun and rain and the stitching eventually weathers and gives way. That's when the children go through them and suffer fractures and other injuries."
If people inherit or buy an old trampoline, they should make sure it is in good working order and, again, that the stitching has not started to deteriorate. In the event of head or spinal injuries and fractures, the patient not be moved.
"Simply make them comfortable and call Triple Zero (000) and wait for paramedics to arrive. With any serious cuts, apply firm, direct pressure and wait for paramedics to arrive," Inspector Rees said.