Despite added safety features such as netting and padding, many young children continue to hurt themselves while playing on trampolines, a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds.
Nearly 98,000 injuries were reported in 2009. Of those, 3,100 required hospitalization, according to data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
“Pediatricians need to actively discourage recreational trampoline use,” said Dr. Michele LaBotz, co-author of the AAP policy statement. “Families need to know that many injuries occur on the mat itself, and current data do not appear to demonstrate that netting or padding significantly decrease the risk of injury.”
Seventy-five percent of injuries occur when more than one person is jumping on the mat, according to a news release from the AAP. Children age 5 and younger were at greater risk for significant injury. In fact, nearly half of the injuries for this age group were fractures or dislocations.
The most common injuries for all groups include sprains, strains and contusions, the news release states. Falling from a trampoline, which can be potentially catastrophic, caused many of the injuries. Many times, children were hurt while under the supervision of an adult.
The report also found that children sustained cervical spine injuries – with permanent and devastating consequences – while trying to complete somersaults and flips on a trampoline.
+ Learn about Family Focus Parent Education Classes
+ Find a Family Practice Physician