In light of approximately 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in the U.S. each year, the American Academy of Pediatrics is advising against playing on home trampolines. Although injuries have been on a downward trend for the last few years, trampolines still led to about 31,000 hospitalizations in 2009--and injuries tend to happen most frequently in kids under 5.
Think you’ve safety-proofed your trampoline with nets and pads? Think again. “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,” said Michele LaBotz, MD, FAAP, co-author of the updated policy statement. In fact, 75 percent of injuries occur on the mat, when multiple people are jumping. The most common injuries are sprains, strains and scrapes, but devastating spinal injuries can also be caused by failed flips. Falls off the trampoline account for 27 to 39 percent of the injuries, and can still happen with an adult supervising.
The policy also recommends that pediatricians actively discourage their patients from owning and using trampolines. Despite the AAP’s longheld anti-trampoline stance (they first came out against home trampolines in 1999 and reaffirmed their view in 2006), they continue to be a fixture on many suburban backyards.
Do you have a trampoline? Do you let your kids play on them? Leave a comment.