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The Dangers of Trampolines

Do you have happy memories of bouncing on a trampoline when you were a child?…

  • August 14, 2017

Do you have happy memories of bouncing on a trampoline when you were a child? Well, forget it! Trampolines are now another one of those things we now learn are bad for us.

This bad news comes courtesy of The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which does not recommend trampoline use for children under age 6.

In 2015, there were more than 295,000 medically treated trampoline injuries in the U.S., according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, including 102,943 emergency department visits.

The dangers of trampoline use were recently highlighted when a 3-year-old Florida boy broke his femur (thigh bone) during routine jumping on a trampoline, requiring a full lower body cast, and causing him tremendous pain and discomfort.

The most common trampoline injuries are sprains and fractures resulting from falls on the trampoline mat, frame or springs; collisions with one or more jumpers; stunts gone wrong; and falls off the trampoline on the ground or other hard surface, according to CPSC.

Most trampoline injuries occur in the home environment, and more than 90 percent are sustained by children, usually those between the ages of 5 and 14 years.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these safety guidelines:

  • Do not allow children younger than 6 years of age to use trampolines.
  • Provide careful adult supervision, proper safety measures and instruction when trampolines are used for physical education, competitive gymnastics, diving training, and other similar activities.
  • Allow only one participant at a time to use a trampoline.
  • Ensure that spotters are present when participants are jumping. Somersaults or high-risk maneuvers should be avoided without proper supervision and instruction; these maneuvers should be attempted only with proper use of protective equipment, such as a harness.
  • Place the trampoline-jumping surface at ground level.
  • Ensure that supporting bars, strings, and surrounding landing surfaces have adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed.
  • Regularly check equipment for safety conditions; discard worn or damaged equipment if replacement parts are unavailable.
  • Do not rely on safety net enclosures for injury prevention; most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.
  • Remove trampoline ladders after use to prevent unsupervised access by young children.

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