Research suggests mothers are misinformed about safety on trampolines

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Focus group research conducted among mothers by Atlantic Trampolines suggests that many believe one type of trampoline will be safer than another, when in reality official advice based on accident statistics from around the world is consistent in saying that it is the way in which trampolines are used that is the real cause of accidents.

Focus group research conducted by Atlantic Trampolines among parents suggests that many are misinformed about trampoline safety. Half of the group of eight believed wrongly that one type would be safer than another, when in reality advice based on accident statistics from around the world suggests it is the way in which trampolines are used that is the real cause of accidents.

Atlantic Trampolines Director Andrew Jardine said: 'What concerned us about these conversations was that people were making assumptions about safety which were wrong. We have checked the worldwide statistics and want to help make it clear to parents what the real risks are so that children can enjoy trampolines as safely as possible. First off they need to buy a quality trampoline and maintain it properly, and second they need to make sure the basic rules of safe use are observed.''

Atlantic Trampolines has analysed all the existing UK accident research – and looked at recommendations given in America, Canada and Australia - and found that results consistently point to the following conclusions:
1) that having more than one child at a time on a trampoline increases the risk of accidents;
2) that children under 6 are most at risk and should only use smaller trampolines which are designed for that age-group
3) that having a safety net reduces the risk of accidents.
4) that parental supervision reduces the risk of accidents.
5) that a third of children are hurt by jumping or falling off the trampoline.
6) that springs and poles should be covered and padded.
7) that the trampoline should be kept in good condition with no holes, tears etc
8) that stunts should only be performed by bouncers that have been suitably trained.

These findings are consistent with the advice given by the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), of which Atlantic Trampolines is a member. The only real safety issues relating to the trampoline itself is: does it have a net, is it well-maintained, and is it safely sited.

Atlantic's safety advice to parents this summer is therefore:
a) if you already have a trampoline, invest in a safety net if you don’t already have one, and also check that all the parts are intact – mat, enclosure poles etc – and replace any that need it now;
b)If you are looking to buy a trampoline, choose a quality one which is well-made from a company which offers a good guarantee and sells a full range of replacement parts so that you can properly maintain it in a safe condition for years to come;
c)Make sure you and your kids know the safety rules! See the safety tips on our website, http://www.atlantictrampolines.co.uk for RoSPA's downloadable leaflet.

Atlantic Trampolines Director Andrew Jardine said: 'We are concerned that parents make informed choices when buying a trampoline. Where children's safety is concerned, buying the cheapest isn't always the best. Cheap trampolines generally start to fall apart after a year and then they become dangerous. If you go back to the retailer they very often don't carry the parts, have changed supplier to keep the price down and aren't interested in helping either. Buying a quality trampoline in the first place, siting it well and then making sure your kids keep to the rules is the best way to avoid accidents. Unlike many retailers, we only sell trampolines; we are the specialists and we are always happy to help advise people on what to buy and how to avoid accidents. We accept that trampolines are the cause of a lot accidents in children but experts say that the majority could be avoided. '

For help customers should call Atlantic’s TRAMPO-LINE at Bounce House free on 0800 032 5879. Atlantic sell a full range of trampolines and parts to suit a variety of models. Andrew says: 'Our trampolines are great value and offer excellent safety features. We want our customers to recommend us to their friends and neighbours because of the quality of our service and to get the kids outdoors bouncing safely to keep them healthy too. Then it's a win-win situation for everyone.'

Company information:
Atlantic Trampolines is a fast growing Welsh based company which specialises in selling only quality, affordable trampolines backed up by great service and free next day UK delivery. It is also the biggest supplier of trampoline parts in the UK. It gives a five year guarantee of its trampolines' framework and one year guarantee on the components. Trampoline packages start at £54.99. For more information go to http://www.atlantictrampolines.co.uk or speak to the experts at Bounce House on the TRAMPO-LINE 0800 032 5879. Atlantic Trampolines is a member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Background Information
A group of 8 mothers were asked by Atlantic how they or their family would go about buying a trampoline for their children. Half demonstrated beliefs about safety which are not supported by research. They included that: one shape is safer than another, having them lower to the ground is safer, having them sunk in the ground is safer, or having them bigger is safer.

The following is a summary of the most recent information available on trampoline accidents and their causes.

2007 – Study at Weston-super-Mare Hospital, UK
70 accidents studied
33% of injuries were caused by falling off the trampoline where there was no net.
47% were caused when there was more than one child on the trampoline.
76% were caused by either of the above or the child was under 5

2008 -Study at Kingston Hospital, Surrey, UK
131 accidents studied
33% were caused by falling off the trampoline
Most were on with other people
20% were children under 5 on a large trampoline more than 10ft in diameter

2009 - Study at Ninewells Dundee, UK
50 accidents studied
80% had more than one person on the trampoline and often included adults
46% had no adult supervision
64% had no net

2001 US study of 91,870 accidents by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission
93% were under 15 yrs old
11% were under 5 yrs old
Injuries caused by: collisions, falling off, falling on the springs or frames, landing badly or doing stunts

UK Statistics from the DTI in 2002
4,800 people were injured on home trampolines and went to A&E as a result
Of these the most common outcomes were:
a) treated and no more treatment required
b) referred to outpatient clinic

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Louisa . Harry-Thomas
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