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Rugger Club Booted Into Touch

2009-05-08 19:51:21  

They’re fun and they’re popular. Inflatable jumpers are the rage with kids and families, but parents may not know they can also be deadly.

On weekends, you can’t drive through most neighborhoods without seeing one in someone’s front yard or driveway. But as with any recreation, proper precautions need to be taken. That includes resisting the temptation to get into the jumper with your kids.

One incident of fun turned fatal at Hoppin Houses Indoor Playground in Washington state. In December, two adults playing on aninflatable jumperfell on a three-year old boy and Jacob Pierce died when his skull was crushed.

Dr. Bernard Dannenberg is the director of pediatric emergency at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

“An adult person that is running around in one of these houses will bounce all the lighter children around, and this is a component I would not add,” says Dr. Dannenberg.

Between 1997 and 2004, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates the number of accidents on bounce houses,inflatableslides, and climbing walls increased nearly four fold to 4,900. Between 2002 and 2005, 4 people died onbounce housesandinflatableslides. The victim’s ages were 15 to 24 years old.

“It is real important to have adult supervision, limited number of children, and I think most importantly, you need to match children with similar weight and athletic abilities,” says Dannenberg.

Even kids play can turn rough. Dr. Dannenberg says mixing kids revved up on birthday cake and sugar in a small space means collisions and possibly injuries.

“According to the insurance industry, we have the lowest insurance rates that you can have because our safety record is impeccable,” Gordon Keil, President & CEO, Pump It Up.

“Pump It Up” is a national indoor private party facility, headquartered in Pleasanton. The company requires children to watch a safety video provided by Pump It Up. Strict rules are enforced and the number of children allowed in eachbounce houseis limited and two staff members supervise at all times.

“Every one of ourinflatablesis anchored to the concrete floor. The tall ones are tethered to the ceiling, to the wall, just to be sure that they’re safe,” says Keil

If you decide to rent your bounce house, keep these tips in mind:

-Make sure yourbounce houseis fastened securely or weighted down.

-Watch for any rips or holes and that the unit is not sagging anywhere.

-Stop the ride in high winds.

-Have adult supervision at all times–preferably someone who knows how to operate the unit.

The bottom line is to keep the fun safe. Dr. Dannenberg himself rented abounce housefor his daughter 4th birthday.

“I believe, for the most part, they are safe if you follow the basic rules and advisement of the companies that rent them,” says Dannenberg.


The sun shines brightly and light twinkles on the surface of the swimming pool. Everything looks peaceful and quite. Suddenly, the calm is broken by the sound of people flapping and splashing water. Despite the March cold, even the weather does not prevent people from swimming.


“People in Shantou like swimming very much,” said Yang Qingwei, who is in charge of the operation of Zhongshan Park, where there is also a swimming pool. “More than 1,000 people came to our swimming pool in a day in summer.”


As there are so many people, the quality of the water has become a topic of public concern.“We adopt the cycle of water purification devices, which works about 15 hours every day in summer, and six hours every two days in winter,” said Zeng Yonghua, 35, the manager of the swimming pool in Zhongshan Park. “We usually change the entire water once a year.”


There are 80 swimming pools in total in Shantou among the hotels, schools and residential areas, according to Zhang Biaoming, the Chief of Policies and Regulations of Sports Board.


The swimming pool in Zhongshan Park is one of the most famous swimming pools in Shantou. “Most of our customers are families, they train their children to learn swimming here,” Yang said.


There are two inlets and five outlets in the swimming pool in Zhongshan Park, and the latter is much bigger than the former. All the water entering into the pool has already been disinfected with Sodium Hypochlorite, which can protect people from the E. coli, a kind of bacterium which is harmful to the body when its content is more than 0.3mg per liter to 0.5 mg per liter.


Zeng emphasized that Sodium Hypochlorite should be liquid rather than powder, as liquid can more easily evaporate. Every time they have to get a certificate of quality from the Health Inspection and Supervision Centre, in order to buy the chemicals from the factory.

The swimming pool managers have an official record book from the quarantine station to keep track of the amounts of chemical agents poured into the pool.


“When the officials from the Health Inspection and Supervision Centre came, we showed the tally book to them,” Zeng said. “The inspectors often take a liter of water from the pool and add a special pill into it. And then the water becomes  colored. They compare the color to the standard color on a kind of special test paper.”

“We only are in charge of public swimming pools and go there irregularly. But we haven’t found any that have problems with the water,” said Zhang, the person in charge of inspecting pools.


The cycle of water purification devices functions well, but is also expensive. “It will take about 600 RMB if it works for ten hours continuously, and each time it will lose 10% of water during the process of backwashing and sewage disposal,” Zeng added.

The most advanced sterilization technology, however, is the ozone-activated carbon sterilization technology which combines the adsorption of activated carbon with the oxidization of Ozone. It is considered the most environment-friendly because it produces no secondary pollutants. This is the technology that was used in the National Aquatics Center during the Beijing Olympic Games.


However, because of its high equipment cost and large power consumption, it has only been used in the international competition swimming pool or a number of high-grade water parks. Even as the only national diving training base in Shantou, the swimming pool on the Haibin Road around the People’s Square still uses Sodium Hypochlorite for disinfection.


“But the water here is blue while it’s green in most of ordinary swimming pools, as we used Copper Sulfate to limit the growth of phytoplankton,” said Ma Liguang, the leader of Shantou Diving Team.


Apart from this, another kind of advanced equipment plays an important role in the water purification in the diving pool. It’s called preparatory pool which has a corresponding water level with the diving pool. When the latter doesn’t have enough water, the former will flow into it automatically. “In this way, we don’t have to empty the pool to infuse new water,” Ma said.


Now in my University career I often had run ins with the Rugby Club. See as Treasurer of one of the light sports (ie small budget) there was a constant conflict with the heavy sports (including the king pins Rugby) over allocation of funding. Some of the most heated discussions in the Students Union (apart from the cultural role of Neighbours) was always the annual budget allocations. Often fighting to defend money to three of the often overlooked areas of student life boy did I usually go shoulder to shoulder with the Rugby guys.

We also tended to go shoulder to shoulder with them every Wednesday and Saturday night in the main Union Bar (actually I should now call it the Guild of Students as it was named when I returned to repeat my final year in the new Kingston University). Of course Rugby players are going to be one of the, if not the, most raucous sports groups on campus. What other sort of guys, and gals, are you going to get who want to ruck and maul, risk losing teeth (more in some cases), bruised and batter face, or possible spinal injury (even despite new guidelines). They like all student sportspeople love to unwind. Most students are aware that Wednesdays and Saturdays after sports activities that the various teams will return to base to let off steam.

Therefore the fact the SRFU founding member Glasgow University Rugby Club like to unwind boisterously is no surprise. What is a surprise is the decision by the University Court to ban them from using the University's name from 1 January. Student sports clubs are also a transient beast, members come and go with the degree cycles. One of the players has said:

"It's simply not fair that we are being punished for incidents that go back six
years, when none of us was playing."

Another pointed out a possible level of victimisation going on when he said:

"What makes us worse than any other rugby club in Britain? What do they do when they win a game? Take their tops off and sing a few songs. That's what we do.

"Besides, the union holds Iron Stomach drinking competitions, when people take their tops off and the staff put out buckets for being sick in – and that's acceptable."

Now there is always the point that each passing generation of students in a club want to best the legends of the past. Heaven knows if there are still rumours going around Kingston about the Cross County teaminflatablebanana, which always appeared on the final stage of the final leg in relays. Possible the University of Surrey still remember the occasion they stole away and burst said banana, only for it to reappear at the next event patched up and recovered. But I guess these tales have been exaggerated in the telling or bested by succeeding generations, or at least the tales have if the actions have not.

And that is the thing. The tales are often a heck of a lot worse that the actuality. The reputation often precedes the events. Some in the club have said it is doing its best to move from being a drinking club with a bit of a Rugby problem to a Rugby club with a bit of a drinking problem. Having been in University changing rooms with a whole mob of sports and in senior Rugby and other sports changing rooms and in the bars afterwards, I'd guess that Glasgow definitely aren't the worse behaved Rugby Club in Britain. Student teams have nothing on the schenanigans of those who have jobs, money and often a greater need and enthusiasm to unwind, but the University Court is making them out to be by their actions.

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