FLORIDA - BACKGROUND: Using a trampoline is promoted as fun, but the growing popularity of trampolines among 8-year-olds to adults is resulting in a dramatic increase in serious injuries - including broken necks, spinal cord injuries, and disabling head traumas, many of which result in permanent paralysis as well as death. In addition, trampolines are responsible for many less serious injuries such as broken bones, including legs, arms, and other parts of the body, as well as different types of dislocations and muscle damage. (SOURCE: http://www.fscip.org/tramp.html)
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP): The risk of injury is so high with trampolines that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that they should never be used at home or in outdoor playgrounds The AAP found that some injuries -- including broken bones and bruising -- were caused by kids trying to do flips or falling on the frame or off the trampoline. The policy statement also reports that:
- Smaller children are 14 times more likely to get hurt than bigger children.
- About 75% of trampoline injuries occur when multiple people are jumping on the mat.
- Twenty percent of trampoline injuries were caused by hitting the frame or the springs. Researchers say trampoline pads deteriorate quickly, putting children at risk of hurting themselves on the frames and springs.
- Netting around the trampoline did not protect kids from injury.
The AAP supports limited use of trampolines in supervised training programs, such as gymnastics and diving classes. But even then, strict safety guidelines must be followed. (SOURCE: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trampoline-exercise; http://children.webmd.com/news)
SAFETY RULES: For the risk takers who still would like to indulge here are some safety rules:
- Use safety nets and pads. Install a trampoline enclosure — a special net designed to surround the trampoline — and cover the trampoline's springs, hooks and frame with shock-absorbing pads. Regularly check the equipment for tears and detachments.
- Place the trampoline on level ground. Make sure it's a safe distance from trees and other structures. Better yet, place the trampoline in a pit so the jumping surface is at ground level.
- Limit trampoline activity. Allow only one person to use the trampoline at a time — and never without supervision.
- Discourage unsupervised jumping. Don't install a trampoline ladder, which could tempt young children to use the trampoline alone.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS: The AAP says that trampoline parks may not follow the same rules and recommendations suggested by the AAP, and that trampolines used for instructional sports need appropriate supervision and safety measures. The AAP also suggests homeowners with trampolines should check that their insurance policies cover trampoline injury-related claims. (SOURCE: http://children.webmd.com/news)