PARENTS have been warned that their children could be at risk of serious injury at popular play centres.

Experts have said that mandatory safety standards are urgently needed for trampoline centres.

Medics revealed that kids who attend these venues are more likely to be seriously injured and require hospital admission than those who use trampolines at home.

While they admit trampolining is a fun activity, they also say it's dangerous.

In the UK trampoline injuries account for half of all emergency admissions among under 14s. 

In the US, it's 100,000, and in Australia it's around 1,500.

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Writing in the journal Injury Prevention, the experts sought out studies detailing the types and locations of injuries children have suffered.

Looking at just 11 papers, they found that leg injuries, sprains and requirements for surgery were more common at trampoline centres.

The experts said that this could be down to the structural differencesin products used at home and at play areas.

Kids who played at these centres were found to be twice as likely to sustain orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injuries as kids trampolining at home.

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These types of injuries often impact the joints, bones and/or the soft tissue.

Leg injuries were also three times as common in this group.

The need for surgery following an injury sustained at these centres was twice as high in those sustained at home.

Teenagers and older children were more at risk – which could be down to risk-taking behaviours in pre-teens and teens, suggest the researchers.

High levels of supervision and age restrictions could also explain why there were lower rates of injury in kids of the age of six, they added.

Of kids using play centres, arm injuries and cuts were less common.

The researchers said: "Presently, safety guidelines are not legislated for commercial trampoline centres anywhere in the world.”  

“Most trampoline centres only demand a user’s injury liability waiver before admission, and the current AAP [American Academy of Pediatrics] policy statement on trampolines does not include trampoline centres because of the lack of data regarding the safety of these recreational venues.

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"Considering the rapid global expansion of the commercial trampoline industry in the last decade, the increasing injury rates, and the cost to health systems, the development and implementation of evidence based safety standards and preventative strategies and public awareness campaigns are urgently required.”

It's key to note that this study is observational and can't establish an exact cause as to why more injuries occurred at play centres compared to at-home equipment.

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