Victorians are being urged to keep a close eye on children using backyard trampolines this holiday season, with the number of head injuries and broken bones on the rise.
Statistics reveal that almost one child is being hospitalised with trampoline-related injuries every day.
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett said trampolines were a popular Christmas gift for children but they could be dangerous if they were not used properly.
Between July 2009 and June 2014, there were more than 2200 hospital admissions for trampoline injuries in Victoria, with more than 1700 bone fractures and 280 head injuries, according to figures from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit at Monash University.
Thirty-nine per cent of admissions were children aged between 5-9 years old, followed by those aged four and under (26 per cent) and 10-14 years (22 per cent). A checklist, developed as part of an Australia-wide safety campaign, reminds parents to:
- supervise children at all times and keep toddlers away when it is being used
- ensure the frame has safety padding
- do regular condition checks – make sure the mat and safety net doesn’t have holes, the springs are intact and securely attached, the frame is not bent and the leg braces are locked
- check for hazards – make sure the trampoline is well away from walls, fences or garden furniture and ensure there is an overhead clearance to avoid trees and wires.
- make sure only one child at a time is on the trampoline
Traders selling trampolines are being reminded to meet new voluntary Australian safety standards introduced this year outlining the requirements for trampolines set up in people’s homes.
Trampolines must be sold with clear assembly and placement instructions, as well as guidelines on how they can be safely used.
As part of its annual Christmas toy blitz, Consumer Affairs Victoria has also seized more than 11,000 dangerous and deadly toys during pre-Christmas inspections of more than 200 traders and suppliers.
Items seized from shelves include projectile toys capable of shooting nails and yo-yo balls with elastic cords that stretch to excessive lengths and could cause strangulation.
For more on product safety, go to the “Play it safe at home” page at consumer.vic.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett
“We are very concerned about the number of children being seriously injured and that’s why we are reminding parents to keep a close eye on their kids using trampolines this Christmas.”
“Trampolines can be a lot of fun but we also know they can be dangerous if they are not used properly.”
“Consumer Affairs Victoria has seized thousands of dangerous toys from Victorian suppliers to protect children and keep them safe this Christmas.”
Quotes attributable to Royal Children’s Hospital Director of Trauma Assoc Prof Warwick Teague
“Trampolines are perfectly safe if used appropriately, but can be very dangerous without proper supervision and when multiple children are bouncing on them at once.”
“We are seeing injuries on trampolines that no family or child should ever be subjected to.”
Trampoline-related injuries in Victoria, July 2009-June 2014:
- 2249 hospital admissions - an average of more than one a day
- 879 (39.1 per cent) of admissions were children aged 5-9
- 588 (26.1 per cent) were children aged 0-4
- 500 (22.2 per cent) were children aged 10-14
- 2196 (98 per cent) of injuries were caused by falls
- 1715 injuries (76 per cent) were fractures
- 855 (38 per cent) of injuries were to the elbow or forearm
- 491 (22 per cent) were to the upper arm or shoulder
- 287 (13 per cent) were to the knee or upper leg
- 283 (13 per cent) were head injuries
Toys seized by Consumer Affairs Victoria during pre-Christmas inspections:
- More than 11,000 toys have been removed from sale
- More than 200 suppliers were inspected between September and December 2015
- Suppliers were inspected in more than 60 Melbourne suburbs and regional towns
- Toys removed from sale include:
- projectile toys capable of shooting improvised projectiles such as nails and pencils
- battery-operated toys that can break into small pieces and can be ingested
- yo-yo balls with electric cords that stretch to dangerous lengths
- portable swimming pools that do not meet safety requirements
Reviewed 10 February 2021