Trampolines provide hours of fun for families, but a new health poll revealed many parents have relaxed the rules for children.
Results from the fifth Australian Child Health Poll found 80 per cent of Australian parents are ignoring basic trampoline safety guidelines, The Age reports.
As a result, Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital paediatrician Dr Anthea Rhodes told the publication trampoline injuries are on the rise.
"Here at the children's hospital, we've seen over 500 trampoline related injuries in the past 12 months," she said.
"And in the first month following Christmas we see a rise in those injuries at the hospital, some of them can be quite devastating and life changing for the families involved."
The survey, which polled 3,608 kids, also found that more children are jumping on a trampoline than riding a bike.
Trampoline safety guidelines recommends one child jumps on the trampoline at a time. However, the introduction of padding and netting on new trampolines has seen many parents allow multiple kids on at a time.
"Three quarters of parents have a trampoline with a safety net, and people are more inclined to have more children on a trampoline with a safety net," Dr Rhodes said.
"Allowing multiple children on a trampoline has been compared to cage fighting by our trauma service at The Royal Children's Hospital.
"I'm not suggesting for one minute that we wrap children up in bubble wrap, but what's really important is balancing the risk of getting outside and being safe.
- Make sure only one child at a time uses the trampoline.
- Supervise children at all times, regardless of their age.
- If children under six use trampolines, make sure they take extra care.
- Use safety padding on the equipment's frame and regularly check the conditions of the mats and net.
- Make sure there are no holes, that the springs are intact and securely attached at both ends, that the frame is not bent and leg braces are securely locked.
- Keep the trampoline away from hazards like walls, fences, play equipment and garden furniture and that overhead objects like clotheslines, trees and wires are far away.