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Trampolines and AFL the leading cause of children’s recreational injuries in Western Australia

Trampolines and AFL the leading cause of children’s recreational injuries in Western Australia
April 15, 2017

Participation in AFL and trampoline incidents have been identified as the leading cause of sport and recreation activities causing injuries to children and youth that result in visits to hospital emergency departments in Western Australia.

According to figures released by the independent not-for-profit organisation Kidsafe WA, an average of 160 children aged between five and 12 are whisked to Princess Margaret Hospital’s ED each week after injuring themselves in various ways.

That’s a total of 41,417 children and youths between 2010 and 2015, with the figure rising by 18% in 2015 compared to 2010.

According to Kidsafe WA, just under half of all injuries to teens and pre-teens are related to a sporting activity (44.3%, 14,412 incidents).

In comparison to all ages, this is significantly high as generally sporting activities account for closer to a quarter of injuries. Australian Rules Football is the most common sporting activity associated injury, followed by football, basketball and cycling.

For all ages, trampoline related injuries are the top activity resulting in injury, with teens and pre-teens at less risk of injury from a trampoline compared to their younger counterparts.

Total injuries that resulted in emergency department visits from 2010 to 2015 where trampolines (1382 visits), followed by AFL (1310), cycling (1211), scootering (1132) and soccer (1091). Most injuries are caused by falls (15,412) and blunt force (10,647).

Some sporting activities such as quad biking, equestrian and motorcycling record a smaller number of injuries, however, they are often more severe.

For example nearly two thirds (64.2%, 34 incidents) of all quad bike related injuries are triaged as either urgent, emergency or requiring resuscitation.

This is similar for injuries due to both equestrian and motorcycling, with 52.3% (78 incident) and 55.3% (173 indicents) of injuries triaged in the more severe categories respectively.

Commenting on the findings, Kidsafe WA General Manager Jessica McKenna explains “we want kids playing; we don’t want them sitting injured on the sidelines. So supervision and proper safety equipment are key.

“It’s just about reducing the risk, not about stopping what you’re doing.”

McKenna said about 15% of hospital emergency depatment visits were serious enough for the child to be admitted.

St John Ambulance First Aid Services and Training General Manager Aaron Harding said many parents were susceptible to “freak-outs” when their children hurt themselves.

Harding said more parents and caregivers knowing first aid and being confident in providing it was the remedy and would alleviate pressure on the children’s hospital.

He explained “we’re all very cotton wool.

“We don’t know how to look after our precious individuals so we rush them to the emergency department. In a huge percentage of cases, I think good first aid can eliminate the need for the emergency department.”

Kidsafe WA’s trampolining statistics are understood to relate largely to backyard trampolines, rather than commercial trampoline arenas, with the organisation advising of the five golden rules of trampolining: one child at a time, adequate supervision, safety padding, maintaining the trampolines - as well as the nets and pads that wear out quicker - and ensuring a safe distance away from potential hazards like fences, other play equipment and outdoor furniture.

Click here to view Kidsafe WA’s Childhood Injury Bulletin.

Auskick image courtesy of the AFL.

14th October 2016 - OUTDOOR PLAY ESSENTIAL TO HEALTHY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT 

7th July 2016 - KIDSAFE QUEENSLAND HIGHLIGHTS SAFETY RISKS AT TRAMPOLINE ARENAS

25th May 2016 - SPORTS INJURY HOSPITALISATIONS HIGHER IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

15th November 2015 - RISKY OUTDOOR PLAY POSITIVELY IMPACTS CHILDREN’S HEALTH 

20th January 2014 - RESEARCH REVIEW SUGGESTS BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE RISKS OF INJURY IN JUNIOR SPORT

15th February 2012 - SCHOOL SPORTING INJURIES MASKED BY LACK OF DATA

12th July 2011 - SPORTS INJURIES KEEPING HOSPITAL BEDS WARM 


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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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