Jumping for joy can all end in tears

By Teuila Fuatai

Nearly 100 Wairarapa injury claims relating to trampolines were accepted by ACC last year.

More than half were for accidents which occurred in Masterton.

ACC figures show trampoline-related claims remained fairly constant in the Masterton and Carterton districts in the past five years, averaging about 60 and 12 respectively. But injury claims doubled in the South Wairarapa district between 2011 and 2012, up from 15 to 30.

Masterton Medical was unavailable for comment, although a Wairarapa District Health Board spokeswoman said emergency department personnel could not recall any trampoline-related injuries. Nationally, nearly 8400 trampoline injury claims were accepted last year, about 160 a week, costing more than $2 million.

Most of the victims (84 per cent) were children aged 14 and under. However, Kiwis in their twilight years also joined the fun; 16 injuries were logged for pensioners aged 70 and over last year alone.

The figures also indicate trampoline injuries are on the rise.

Last year's national claim count was the highest in five years.

Jonathan Collins of Springfree Trampoline says children should be supervised at all times on trampolines.

"Broken bones are the most common injury, followed by bruising, sprains, cuts, dislocation and dental injury," Mr Collins said.

"The one at a time rule is important. A large number of injuries occur when multiple jumpers are on the trampoline and the smaller person is almost always the one injured."

Springfree Trampolines are said to be the world's safest of the five trampolines tested in Consumer NZ's latest trampoline report, the Springfree was the only one to pass safety tests.

Mr Collins said falls and hitting trampoline frames and springs were the leading cause of injuries.

"While you'd think a net and pads would stop those injuries, studies show they're not doing so," he said.

When buying a trampoline, people should look at the quality of the net and ensure pads provide adequate protection.

Consumer NZ has called for mandatory safety standards around trampolines. It also recommended voluntary standards, which were last revised in 1997, be updated.

An age breakdown shows injury numbers tapered off after the 10- to 14-year age bracket, but experienced a slight resurgence for those aged 35 to 44 in the past five years. Last year, 103 claims were accepted for people aged 25 to 29. This jumped to 160 claims for those aged 35 to 39, and 144 claims for those aged 40 to 44.

An ACC spokeswoman said trampolines were common in Kiwi backyards. But it was important to monitor young ones and ensure equipment met safety standards.APNZ

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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