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Published On: Fri, Oct 28th, 2016

Trampoline Accidents: Is Your Child at Risk?

Trampolines have long been a staple of outdoor childhood fun, but are they putting children’s health at risk? Physicians and other healthcare experts have answered with a resounding “Yes.” In fact, given that more than 250,000 people have been injured by trampolines during the past 10 years, it comes as no surprise that the majority of doctors surveyed have said they refuse to have trampolines in their own homes. Find more information on risks of trampoline injuries in children highlighted by a study done using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Common trampoline injuries

If there’s one thing that pretty much all parents can agree on, it’s that children lack understanding of their own vulnerability. Kids often become reckless, especially when playing with their friends. One common way in which children are injured on trampolines is when two or more try to jump at the same time, causing collisions and perhaps causing them to fall off the toy. Kids can also become injured when they land incorrectly on the trampoline, jump off the trampoline to the ground, or land on the springs or frame of the toy. Far too many kids attempt dangerous stunts on trampolines like somersaults and flips. And sometimes, trampolines are simply defective and inherently dangerous.

All of these problems can contribute to injuries. These include injuries as minor as scrapes and bruises to as major as brain trauma or paralyzing spinal cord trauma. Death can occur as a result of head and spinal cord injuries. Kids are also at risk of painful broken bones, sprains and strains, and many other injuries. Children younger than six years of age at are the highest risk of injuries, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Emerging concerns about trampoline parks

Wyatt Newmann's exhibit examines the sexualization of children in photographs  photo/courtsy of Wyatt Newmann

Wyatt Newmann’s exhibit examines the sexualization of children in photographs photo/courtsy of Wyatt Newmann

Home trampolines – from mini bouncers to jumbo netted trampolines – have long been on the radar of public safety advocates. But there’s a new threat that’s growing rapidly in popularity throughout the country: Trampoline parks. Trampoline parks are broadly defined as being indoor recreational gyms with trampolines from wall to wall.

A recent study published in the medical journal “Pediatrics” – the official medical journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics – sought to determine just how dangerous trampoline parks truly are. The researchers focused their search on trends in emergency room visits and they gleaned their info from the 2010 to 2014 database of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

They found that in 2010, there were 581 ER visits for trampoline park injuries. In 2014, there were 6932 ER visits. The researchers also noted other trends. Compared to home trampoline injuries, trampoline park injuries were more likely to involve lower extremity injuries like fractures and sprains, and more likely to necessitate hospital admission.

Expert recommendations to keep your child safe

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends against the use of trampolines for any purpose other than in supervised training programs for gymnastics or other competitive sports. The organization suggests encouraging an active lifestyle through safer physical activities.

Author: Amelia Smith

 

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