The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) this week warned against recreational trampoline use after a report found that recent safety measures do not prevent trampoline-related injuries.
The AAP report estimates that the number of trampoline-related injuries treated in the ED has fallen from 111,851 cases in 2004 to 97,908 in 2009. However, Susannah Briskin—a sports medicine specialist who co-authored the report—warns that the decline may be the result of lower trampoline sales rather than enhanced safety efforts.
Altogether, one in 200 trampoline injuries resulted in permanent neurological damage.
The report found that about 75% of injuries occur when more than one person jumps on the trampoline mat at once. Researchers note that smaller playmates are at greater risk of injury because the impact of a larger participant on the mat can thrust the smaller participant higher into the air, thereby increasing the chances of a rough landing.
In response to the findings, AAP recommends that pediatricians advise against recreational trampoline use. If parents decide to let their children use trampolines, they advise parents to:
- Restrict trampoline use to a single jumper;
- Prohibit somersaults or flips;
- Maintain active adult supervision; and
- Ensure that home insurance policies cover trampoline-related injury claims (Joelving, Reuters, 9/24; Medical News Today, 9/25; Phend, MedPage Today, 9/24; AAP release, 9/24).
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