THEY are the latest half-term hit but families are coming away from trampoline parks with broken limbs and fractured skulls.
More than 35 people are taken to A&E EVERY DAY with trampoline-related injuries, with one surgeon admitting they were “keeping me in a job”.
The number of patients admitted to one hospital from a local park has become so overwhelming that medical bosses are urgently looking into how they can stem the flow.
Earlier this week, nurse Liza Jones, 26, told of the moment she shattered her spine after leaping from the four-metre tower jump at the Flip Out park in Chester.
Two others were injured at the same venue on the same day.
Just six parks, which feature rooms filled with up to 150 linked trampolines, existed in 2014. But with more than 100 now dotted across the country, the injury count has soared and costs the NHS £1.5million a year.
Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in 2015 — the latest available — showed a record 13,000 A&E admissions for trampolining injuries in England, three-quarters from garden trampolines and around 3,250 from parks, schools and clubs.
But the true number today could be much higher, as there are four times as many parks than when the data was compiled.
In January, mum-of-four Michelle Conway, 40, bounced into a solid wall on the “Free Run” area, again at Chester’s Flip Out, and tore her face from her nose to her lip.
And 13-year-old Mikey Bagnall has to wear a protective helmet when he plays sport after fracturing his skull at Jump2It in Deeside, North Wales, last November. His nasal cavity was later sewn back together during five hours of surgery.
Dr Catherine Rimmer, paediatric emergency medicine consultant at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said: “We’ve seen an increase recently of trampoline-related injuries. We’re doing an audit internally because we’re concerned at the rise.
“The injuries we are seeing are fractured arms or legs, some dislocated joints as well as injuries to the head.”
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon and adviser to Dr Morton’s medical helpline Guy Paremain, who works at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, said: “We have received a large number of serious injuries from the park near our hospital since it opened. All such injuries are a cause for concern. By far the most common are wrist fractures.”
In a bid to get safety under control, new guidelines for trampoline parks were published yesterday by the British Standards Institution (BSI). However, these are NOT compulsory.
One of the recommendations is for platforms to be no higher than two metres. The one Liza Jones jumped off was double that height.
Safety advice given to other park-goers before they were hurt varied.
Ian Evans, 25, a student from South Wales, claimed he did not receive proper safety advice at Go Air in Cardiff. He dislocated his foot after falling from a beam into a foam pit last month and has to wear a support boot for six weeks.
He said: “When I learned to surf I was told that when you fall you have to cover your head and so on, but I hadn’t been told anything about how to fall in the pit.
“The doctor told me it might mean I get arthritis in the foot. That’s a really big concern. More than anything I’d like to know that I’ll be able to run and cycle in the future.”
Joe Whittaker, 14, from Derby, was in “instant agony” when he trapped his foot on the edge of the trampoline at Rebound, in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics, last October. He broke a toe and pulled ligaments and had to wear a support boot for two months. Mum Wendy, 46, a journalist, said: “The staff at Rebound gave him an ice pack and asked us to fill out an injury form.
“It ruined our half-term and we’ve never been back, despite the venue sending us a voucher.”
Isaac Bleach, ten, from Windsor, Berks, suffered black eyes at JumpIn, Slough, when his knee hit his eye on landing in a foam pit.
A staff member took him to the first aid room, applied ice and checked for signs of concussion.
Isaac’s mum Erica, 43, a teacher, said: “Nothing could have prevented it. We knew how easy it could be to have an accident.
“We have been back since as Isaac really enjoys it. He still throws himself into the foam pit.”
Alicia Sullivan, 13, fractured her leg at a party at AirHop, Bristol, in October 2015. More than 20 people suffered injuries there within six weeks of its opening.
Her mum, Jo Dack-Sullivan, 40, said: “When we went to get her cast on we bumped into a boy in her year at school getting his leg pinned after a fall at AirHop.”
And on Thursday, mum Amal Adan, 30, described the “insanely painful” moment she broke both ankles landing in the foam pit at Jump Evolution in Essex.
Glen Travis, a photographer’s assistant from Finsbury Park, North London, blamed himself for his tumble at Walthamstow’s Feelgood Centre in East London.
The 26-year-old, who had to have an iron rod inserted in his leg as a result, recalled: “I’d been trying to high-five a mate and when I landed I heard a snap and felt as though my leg wasn’t in the right place. “We were shown a safety video telling us to bend our legs when we landed. I think what happened was down to me mucking about.”
Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in 2015 — the latest available — showed a record 13,000 A&E admissions for trampolining injuries in England
At the Ryze park in Edinburgh, the council had to investigate after more than 100 injuries in its first three weeks, including a broken back and neck.
Case Lawrence, of Ryze, insisted they had more than 25,000 jumpers in the same period, resulting in only a 0.39 per cent incident rate.
Members of the steering group behind the new BSI guidelines include the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP), whose chairman Peter Brown hopes any responsible park will adhere to the standard. He said: “Ultimately, trampoline parks are an inherently dangerous environment. What is important is to try to limit those risks as best we possibly can.
“By having a set of guidelines covering the construction and operation of trampoline parks, we’re addressing those factors.”
From August, trampoline parks will only be able to join the IATP — and display its sticker — if they comply with the standard.
Russell Tiller, of Jump Evolution said: “It’s extremely regrettable that anyone should suffer an injury at a trampoline park.
“We are well above the BSI guidelines in terms of safety and embrace the new guidelines.
“In regards to Amal, she didn’t pay to jump, she was a spectator and jumped from the tower. We have clear signage around the park which she ignored. It is regrettable and we hope Amal makes a full recovery.”
A spokesman for Flip Out Chester said safety was its “number one priority” and added it had “replaced the tower jump”.
Nicky Johnson, Rebound’s general manager, said: “We invest a lot of time and resources into ensuring the safety of all jumpers at our park, and have been guided by industry experts at every stage.”
AirHop said it has “rigorous safety procedures” and tells jumpers to jump “within their abilities”.
A spokesperson for Better, which runs the Feelgood Centre, said: “We are very sorry to hear of any injury. Public safety is our number one consideration.
“All customers must attend a safety briefing before any session.”
Jump2It, Go Air and JumpIn were all contacted for comment.
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- Survey of children aged 3-11 reveals Disneyland with free rides as their dream home
- David Attenborough, edible walls and house robots top the list
- Magic homework rooms, sausage-llama pets and dinosaur parks also favourite features for kids
A new video (https://www.youtube.com/Strata-Kids-Dream-Homes) reveals what would happen if children were in charge of designing our homes.
We’d all be living in tree-houses made from multi-coloured bricks and castles made from cake and sweets, according to homebuilder Strata.
Magic homework rooms that complete the work for you, trampoline floors bouncing you between rooms and sausage-llamas for pets were high on the list of priorities, as well as a petting zoo in the garden where David Attenborough works. One practical child even wanted 12 toilets so he never had to queue.
Strata asked more than 2,000 children aged 3-11 to describe their perfect home with no restrictions on creativity and imagination.
Top 10 kid’s dream home features include;
- Magic homework room that does the work for you
- Water slide staircase so you never have to walk
- Dinosaur park with its very own scientist
- Trampoline floors to bounce from room-to-room
- House robot
- Sausage-llama as a pet
- Christmas market all year round
- Petting zoo where David Attenborough works
- Shark tank
- Twelve toilets so no-one ever has to queue
Living inside Disneyland is also a dream for most, just as long as all the characters are there and the rides are free.
Almost 60% of children wanted to replace traditional kitchens with a sweet shop and ice cream parlour, where they’d have unlimited access to sugary treats.
One in four want a water park in their garden, closely followed by a zoo filled with exotic animals.
If not Disneyland, girls want to live in a beautiful castle at the top of a hill, with almost one third (32%) dreaming of this, whereas boys prefer the thought of living in a super-cool treehouse.
When it comes to materials, boys want their treehouse to be made from multi-coloured building blocks, whilst girls dream of edible chocolate walls covered in glitter and rainbows.
If homes had special powers, most children want their home to fly and teleport anywhere in the world in a single second. Invisibility and time travel were also top choices for one in every five.
When given the chance to invite their favourite people and characters to live with them, The Minions came out on top with over one third of children wanted to live with the little yellow friends.
To watch the video and see the unveiled dream homes, visit: https://strata.co.uk/kids-dream-homes-revealed/
Strata is an established home builder with 16 developments across Yorkshire and the Midlands and head offices in Doncaster. Chief Executive Andrew Weaver is the fourth generation of the family to run the business alongside his father, Chairman Irving Weaver.
- Data collected via a nationwide survey of over 2000 children aged 3-10 conducted by Censuswide, on behalf of Strata. Video interviews were also conducted with eight children aged 4-11 to collate the additional list of dream home ideas.