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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Warning follows trampoline rise
Person on trampoline
There has been a big rise in trampoline accidents
A "trampoline craze" across Northern Ireland could kill a child, a consultant at Newry's Daisy Hill Hospital has warned.

Michael McCann said in just one month, almost 100 people had to be treated for injuries sustained using trampolines.

The medical expert said safety measures were important when using trampolines at home.

The most common type of injuries were sprains, but there were more serious fractures which could "lead to

long-standing disability".

About 20% of people injured are under the age of five and safety nets had a limited effect on reducing the number of injuries, said Mr McCann.

"The risk of death is very, very low, however that risk does exist," he said.

"The American Academy of Paediatricians noted six or seven years ago that the injury rate was still increasing despite trampolines being about for a long time.

"We have noticed no decrease, and perhaps an increase, in injuries over the last year or so - certainly the safety message doesn't seem to be getting through."

People have to be aware of the risks and I think people should have the information and then decide if the risks are worth the benefits
Michael McCann

It was important to look at safety netting, where the trampoline was sited and making sure one person used the trampoline at any time, said the consultant.

"Many of the injuries are caused by having multiple users on the trampoline - it is a recipe for disaster," he said.

"When there is a small child and a larger child on a trampoline, the smaller child often ends up coming to grief because of the larger child landing on it."

Mr McCann said: "People have to be aware of the risks and I think people should have the information and then decide if the risks are worth the benefits."

In the US, there were 83,000 trampoline accidents within a single year - with 80% occurring at home, he said.


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