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Summer fun is spoiled by injury fears

THE lack of paediatric services on Dublin's south side is proving a massive problem for summer camps in the area, it has been claimed.

Loughlinstown Hospital and St Michael's Hospital, in South County Dublin, do not adequately cater for children under the age of 16, according to Cllr John Bailey (FG).

And leaders of summer camps are being forced to make long journeys to Tallaght Hospital, Crumlin Hospital or Temple Street Hospital if a child needs medical attention, using up vital camp resources.

Summer camp leaders have told the Herald there are not enough paediatric services in the area, while they stressed that the health and safety of children is a number one priority at all camps.

Maureen Ui Riain, from Multisport Summer Camp, Stillorgan, said: "There's not enough, but it's not only inconvenient to the camp and at work, but it's throughout the area.

"If we have to bring them to hospital, it's a serious inconvenience, and to cater for the possibility of it happening we have to have an extra coach, which costs money.


"We also have to make sure that there's transport available, and most likely the hospital visit will run over the time that the coach should be working."

Injured children must be accompanied to the hospital by two adults under the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport, so camp leaders must be prepared to do this during camp time.

Mrs Ui Riain added: "We have a form that asks if a child gets hurt is it okay to bring them to hospital. Most say yes and our procedure is to immediately contact the parent if something happens.

"If something happens at 2pm and the coach is supposed to be finished at 3pm, the waiting time could be two hours. It's part of safety practice and it has to be catered for."

Jamie Pilkington, from Westwood Tennis, Leopardstown, said: "It's certainly something that needs to be looked at. If it's felt that there are not enough paediatric services in the area, I would certainly support that."