FILED IN: Safety

Doctors warn against allowing children on trampolines


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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is discouraging parents from allowing their children to play on trampolines, citing the high number of children who are injured on trampolines each year. In fact, they are asking pediatricians to actively request that the parents of their patients not allow recreational trampoline use.

Those at the greatest risk of serious injury on trampolines are children under the age of five. 48% of children in that age group who were injured on trampolines suffered fractures or dislocations. There is also have a high risk of fatal or permanent injury, as children can land on the necks, heads, or backs.

After safety concerns in 1999, manufacturers imposed new safety measures on trampolines. The AAP now says that those new measures are not enough to mitigate the risk. “As best we can tell, the addition of safety nets and padding has actually not changed the injuries we have seen,” said Dr. Susannah Briskin, a sports medicine specialist who worked on the AAP’s statement. In fact, most injuries are reported to come from the center mat section of the trampoline — not from the edges or from falling off of it. Trampolining has also been found to be more dangerous when there is more than one person on it at a time.

One trampoline manufacturer — Mark Publicover, founder and president of JumpSport Inc — does not agree with the APP, saying that if children are not playing on trampolines, they will find another potentially dangerous activity — such as climbing trees or skateboarding. “If you look at all those activities, a safety-enclosed trampoline is safer by hours of use,” Publicover told Reuters Health. “When they say, ‘Don’t use trampolines with a safety enclosure,’ they are going to increase the number of injuries.”

Parents who spoke to Fox News say that they aren’t concerned about trampolines, as there is a risk involved in any physical activity. “Skiing isn’t safe,” said Kaysville mom Trisha Brown. “Skateboarding, riding your bike isn’t safe.  Everything comes with risk.” “Swimming is what’s scary to me so I put my kids in swimming lessons,” said Emily Murphy. “That gives me anxiety, but the trampoline I feel a little okay about.”

Additional sources: BBC NewsThe Chicago TribuneABC News