Sunday, November 22, 2009

How over protective rubbish bounces back….

Currently, one would go a long way to find better examples of the law of unintended consequences than those provided by advocates of the wimpolene  and trampysteria – a popular product developed in response to a fashionable psychosis – arising in relation to kids and trampolines.

The current Listener provides the facts… but of course not the analysis. Here is the simplified version.

It seems that accidents related to trampolines are increasing. So too it seems is the amount of trampolining. No surprises there one would have thought. If there are more kids trampolining might it be that there are more accident prone kids now “at risk”? Possibly. Might it be that there are more kids who are less accident prone now “at risk”? Possibly.

ACC has no kept no accident figures but the all knowing agency feels confident enough to   say that trampolines are best used only in supervised sports or gymnastics.

Other pieces of research brilliance show:

- injuries are most common amongst children aged six to 14. Wow.

- children are likely to get injured when bouncing with drunken adults (doctors at a Scottish A&E brought you this). Again – get away.

- the lightest person on the trampoline is five times more likely to get injured than the heaviest. Re discovery of gravity. Cool.

The cost of uncovering these stunning insights is undisclosed.

Much more interestingly though, manufacturers  - who began to improve the safety fittings of trampolines years ago (covering springs etc at relatively low cost) have recently upped their game with the butterfly net over the kids approach.

Prices I checked showed that old woman’s hairnet versions cost about $300 more than the standard “no net don’t bounce with drunks” versions.

Result? Well one is cost of trampolines up therefore popularity of second hand trampolines at lower prices up  and effective life of old trampolines increased – the Listener says there is a “big market” in second hand tramps.

Exposure of ever increasing numbers of kids to older less safe trampolines arguably then on the increase.

Our neighbour’s friends solved the problem by having standard tramp no hairnet, but one parent at each corner while “my baby” bounced – starter for 10 - guess the opportunity cost of their time.

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