Both of my kids have a blast when they are bouncing on trampolines, but the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday says that's a dangerous way to have fun.
The group urged pediatricians to "actively discourage" recreational trampoline use because of a high number of injuries. Monday's recommendation reaffirms earlier recommendations from the academy against recreational trampolines.
The recommendation comes despite the fact that trampoline injury rates have been decreasing since 2004, according to an academy news release, which I will begin quoting freely from below.
"In 2009, however, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimated almost 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in the U.S., resulting in 3,100 hospitalizations," the release says. "The rates of trampoline injury appear higher for children than in adults."
About 75 percent of trampoline injuries happen when more than one person is jumping, the academy says. Kids 5 and under appear to be at most risk for serious injuries. Nearly 50 percent of injuries in kids 5 and under were fractures or dislocations, the release said.
Sprains, strains and contusions are common injuries for all ages.
“Pediatricians need to actively discourage recreational trampoline use,” said Dr. Michele LaBotz, co-author of the updated policy statement, in the release. “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.”
The group recommends that pediatricians advise against recreational trampoline use. The group's full report offered these findings, among many others:
- Current data on netting and other safety equipment indicates no reduction in injury rates.
- Homeowners with a trampoline should verify that their insurance covers trampoline injury-related claims.
- Rules and regulations for trampoline parks may not be consistent with the AAP guidelines.
- Trampolines used for a structured sports training program should always have appropriate supervision, coaching, and safety measures in place.
- Many injuries occur even with reported adult supervision.
- Multiple jumpers increase injury risk, particularly to the smallest participants.
- Current trampoline equipment has shorter warranties than in the past, and protective equipment may require earlier replacement.
- Somersaulting, flipping, and falls put jumpers at increased risk of head and cervical spine injury with potentially permanent and devastating consequences.
- Equipment, safety measures, and supervision within structured training programs are significantly different than those used in the recreational environment.