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Doctor's warning over danger of garden trampolines


A children's doctor today warned of the dangers of parents ignoring safety rules on garden trampolines after seeing a growing number of children with broken bones and other injuries.

Dr Rachel Rowlands, a children's A&E consultant at Leicester Royal Infirmary said her biggest fear was that it was only a matter of time before there was an even more serious injury or even a death.

During the four days of the May Bank holiday, she and colleagues saw 15 children who had all hurt themselves on trampolines at home.

Injuries included breaks to an ankle, arm, elbow and foot.

One victim on Bank Holiday Monday was three-year-old Dylan Tyers, from Coalville, who is now nursing a broken collarbone.

The youngster was on the trampoline at home with his older sister when she jumped on him by mistake .

Mum Sharon said: "It's a 10ft round trampoline with a net surround.

"I have two children older than Dylan and they do all go on together – although I know the instructions say it should be one at a time.

"Dylan cried at the time but then seemed to settle down. It wasn't until the next morning when he cried every time I tried to sit him up that we realised something was really wrong.

"He kept pointing at his neck and I was really worried."

NHS Direct sent a paramedic to the house and Dylan was taken by ambulance to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where doctors discovered he had broken his collarbone.

He now has to keep his arm in a sling for four weeks but should make a full recovery.

Mrs Tyers said: "People should not under-estimate just how dangerous trampolines are.

"Only one of the children will be allowed on at a time from now on."

Dr Rowlands said: "Trampolines do have huge health benefits but parents must follow the safety advice.

"The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has very clear guidance that there should be no more than one person on at a time. I have even seen one case where a parent fell on a child and broke their thigh bone."

The big worry for doctors is head and neck injuries.

Dr Rowlands said: "We see a lot of bumps and bruises to the head but our worry is a broken neck, which could lead to paralysis and death.

"Parents should be very careful of letting children under six on to trampolines. At that age they don't have the co-ordination or awareness to stop themselves."

She also advised that once children start learning tricks and somersaults they should go to a club where they could be told how to stop and land safely.

Dr Rowlands said: "I can't remember the last time we saw a child injured at a club."

She said that parents should also make sure there is adequate safety equipment.

"They must have a net which is properly fitted and does not have holes, or else children can fall out. Ladders should also be taken away when adults aren't there so young children can't climb on."

Doctor's warning over danger of garden trampolines

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