Have your kids been asking for a backyard trampoline? A national group of orthopaedic surgeons recommends parents say no to this idea because trampolines put children at high risk for injuries.
Indeed, more than 100,000 trampoline-related injuries were reported in 2006, according to the Consumer Product Safety Review.
“Although trampolines can be fun for both kids and adults, they pose a high risk for injuries, especially when two or more people jump at one time,” said Dr. John Purvis, an orthopaedic surgeon and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
In a position statement, the AAOS also recommends:
- Trampolines should not be used for unsupervised recreational activity, in the home environment or in outdoor playgrounds.
- Adult supervision and proper safety measures should be followed when trampolines are used for physical education, competitive gymnastics and diving training.
- Only one person should use a trampoline at any time.
- Children under the age of 6 should not be allowed on a trampoline.
- A competent adult should always supervise the use of a trampoline.
- Spotters should be present when participants are jumping.
- Any supporting bars, strings and surrounding landing surfaces should have adequate padding.
Despite safety information provided by manufacturers and retailers, which may help minimize severe injuries, many trampoline owners do not follow the advice, according to the AAOS.
The majority of trampoline injuries occur at home to unsupervised children between the ages of 5 and 14, according to the AAOS.
“More than half of the injuries occur on the mat of the trampoline and nearly two-thirds of injuries involve two or more children using the trampoline at the same time,” according to the AAOS policy statement. The most common injuries are sprains and fractures. Children get hurt when they fall on the trampoline mat, hit the frame or springs, collide with another jumper or fall completely off the trampoline.
“Severe injuries are not common, but they do occur and can result in paralysis or, rarely, death,” the police statement reads.
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