You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Indoor trampolining fun but risky: doctors

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016 By Sarah Wiedersehn

Indoor trampoline centres are fun and a great way to get kids active but can be dangerous, doctors warn.

As trampolining parks proliferate across Australia more children are presenting to emergency departments after being injured at one of these centres - a popular choice for kids' birthday parties.

In just six months, 40 children under the age of 16 were treated at Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick for a wide variety of trampoline-related injuries including broken bones, according to a new study published in the journal Injury Prevention.

The most serious cases involved surgery.

The hospital's Dr Chris Mulligan, who led the study by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), says unlike backyard trampolines, where the majority of injuries occur from falling off, most of the injuries occurred on the trampoline surface itself.

He says this highlights the need for a different approach to injury prevention.

"Contributing factors include multiple bouncers or attempting tricks beyond one's ability as well as facility factors such as falls onto loose or in-built hazards," Dr Mulligan said.

Of the 40 cases reported between July 2014 and January 2015, the most common injuries were soft tissue injuries or ankle sprains at 55 per cent. Fractured bones accounted for 37.5 per cent.

Five cases, or 12 per cent, required surgery and a hospital admission.

The average age of those injured was 10, however the youngest was just one year old.

Most of the injuries were caused by failed landings, a somersault or flip gone wrong or "double bouncing" - involving more than one person.

Dr Julie Brown from NeuRA says most of the injuries that do occur are "minor" and they want kids to keep using these parks as long as they remain safe.

"Anything can be dangerous and this activity is a good activity for kids. Its really good for their cardiovascular health and its really fun for them," she said.

In Australia, more than 20 new trampoline centres have opened in the past three years, and an estimated three new facilities open every month.

NeuRA is now working with the Australian Trampoline Parks Association to improve safety guidelines at commercial trampolining centres.

The message to parents, says Dr Brown, is to make sure they supervise their children at all times and make them aware of the safety rules before attending.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon