Picture from last year’s winter. Suburban boron during the New Year holidays and people skiing, sledding, bagels-tubing, ice-cream and ordinary sheets of cardboard. Laughter, joyful children’s squeal, and then a gruesome scream, ambulance, stuck in the snow, a heavy run of medics with stretchers and a girl melted in the snow of twelve years old. Flew away from a steep slide on an uncontrollable “bagel”, she crashed into a pine. Trauma to the extremities, concussion. While the four of us dragged the stretcher to the car, a sobbing mother and a father with a white as snow face beside her. A classic story: children do not yet understand the possible consequences, and adults do not think about them until the thunder comes down.
But while injuries from mountain skiing, especially ice skiing, occur every winter, a new attack has been added in recent years. The regional IC of Russia regularly investigates the circumstances of accidents related to injuries in children’s playrooms, trampolines and other attractions located in shopping and entertainment centers and sports centers of the Altai Territory. On average, fifteen to twenty incidents per year. In 2018, investigators counted 21 cases of bodily injuries of varying severity – up to compression fractures of the vertebrae. Twenty childhood injuries have already occurred in the eleven months of 2019.
Trampoline jumping has recently become very popular. Special centers, where a child can feel like a “bouncer”, one after another are opening in large shopping malls. For Barnaul residents, according to sociologists, malls in general have become the main place of leisure. While adults are keen on shopping, children allegedly remain under the control of adults working in entertainment centres. But who works there? Either women of Balzac’s age or students – it’s clear that the salary here is so bad. Children tumble around in the playroom, and controllers can knit their grandchildren’s socks, hang out in laptops, talk on the phone. Have you seen how many people insurance an athlete at an acrobatic competition? At least four, one on each corner. Of course, the level of difficulty is not comparable, but for many kids with their immature bones any awkward jump is fraught with consequences. I know parents, whose children are not the first year in sports sections, but still received serious injuries on the trampoline: air acrobatics need special skills, it involves other muscle groups than hockey players or skiers.
– This year ten children were injured in trampoline centers. Another five were seriously injured on so-called “bungee” and inflatable attractions, which are located in recreational parks or shopping centers (last year there were eight injured). In the regional center, such reports most often come from the children’s center “Magis Deti”, trampoline centers “WOW mom” and “Spring” in the shopping center “Celebration,” recreation and entertainment parks of the Industrial District, – said Maria Bobreshova, senior inspector of the Department of procedural control of SUSC Russia in the Altai Territory.
Let’s add here the injuries received by children in the playrooms of the shopping mall, for example, when skiing from the slides, including inflatable (four cases this year and eight last year), as well as on the attractions in the recreation parks (one emergency this year and two last year).
– I would like to pay special attention to trampoline centers, as the injuries suffered by children there are very serious, – said Maria Bobreshova. – In most cases, spine is injured, which requires long-term treatment and rehabilitation. Thus, on September 30, at the “Holiday” Trampoline Center, a minor received a compression fracture of the eighth vertebrae. The teenager made an acrobatic reception prohibited by safety regulations, which is indicated in the contract of services and on the information stand in the trampoline zone.
With your hand on your heart, tell me, how many parents and children have you seen reading these safety documents carefully? And how often do supervisors insist on studying them? For some reason, trampolines are considered to be an attraction for shopping malls and leisure parks, although in all respects, they are sports equipment. And before using it with any child, an instructor must give instructions and obligatory warm-up. Alas, the qualification of instructors is often questionable. For information: there are no professional trainers for trampoline jumping in the region at all. It is not necessary to confuse them with coaches on sports gymnastics.
In the same year, a six-year-old girl in the trampoline center “Wow mom” of the shopping center “Celebration” received a compression fracture of five vertebrae at once. The child’s relatives were formally familiarized with the safety rules – they signed the documents provided to them without studying their content. In general, as practice shows, the main causes of accidents with teenagers are non-compliance with safety rules and behavior, negligence of parents and accompanying persons. Expertise conducted as part of procedural checks established that trampoline rides in most cases comply with regulatory safety requirements and the State Standards, and therefore, as a rule, investigative agencies have no grounds to initiate criminal proceedings,” said Maria Bobreshova.
There is also a problem related to gaps in legislation. For a long time there has been no regulation in this area at the federal level. Neither government agencies nor local authorities have checked the safety of amusement rides and playground equipment (including trampolines). After the entry into force of the EurAsEC technical regulation “On the safety of attractions” in Russia from February 1, these functions are entrusted to Gostekhnadzor. An amusement rides supervision department was established in the Altai Territory and employs four people. Obviously, the problem of increasing cases of child injuries cannot be solved by such forces.
Ivan Samsonov, head of the methodical department at the Altai Krai Sports Training Center:
– Educational and sport authorities can help on a number of issues. The first thing to do is to create a complete register of organizations engaged in providing such services. If you want to open trampoline center – register. At that you should show who will work for you and what kind of training it has. There should be a procedure of professional development on a regular basis. Staff should be trained in first aid rules. According to the Rosstandart methodology, you need to constantly monitor the condition of equipment: visual – daily, functional – quarterly, full inspection – annually. And I would advise parents to check compliance with safety requirements: which fences are installed, how many children are working at the same time. Ask to see the documents of title. In some clubs, they are not even known about them. And doctors there are people who do not have medical practice. They just put on white robes, that’s all.