How Dangerous Are Trampolines Really?
It seems that everyone I know who walked on a trampoline as a child also has a story of breaking a leg, an arm, or personally witnessing some kind of terrible injury. Trampolines have only become more popular in recent years, and they’ve also gotten safer, with nets and spring covers – so are they still a broken leg waiting in the wings?
Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes. Just ask the people who are treating these injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “strongly discourages” children from using trampolines in their backyards or at home because of the risk of injury. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) is also skeptical about trampolines , pointing to injury statistics before reluctantly suggesting some safety precautions. One of them: just don’t let kids under the age of six fully enjoy the trampolines.
What about safety nets?
It seems that protective gear should help, but so far there is no evidence that it actually helps. The net (correctly installed and in good condition) should keep people from falling off the trampoline, and it makes sense to use airbags over the springs to reduce spring- related injuries. But groups of doctors say they continue to see injuries even from trampolines with nets and pillows. The AAP says: “Despite the lack of data, current security measures do not appear to be significantly mitigating the risk.”
So how does it really hurt kids? (And yes, about 90 percent of children, not adults, come to hospitals with trampoline-related injuries.) Some of the common scenarios other than falls include:
- They can sprain your wrist or ankle, break an arm or a leg, simply due to a bad landing on the trampoline mat itself (the place where you should land).
- They may collide with another child who is jumping at the same time.
- They can perform a somersault or other trick and land on their heads (yes, even on a mat).
- They can land from a jump almost simultaneously with another child when the surface of the trampoline moves upward. (In other words, they are trying to “bounce twice,” and the timing is just a little off.) The resulting pressure may be enough to cause a fracture.
If you want to prevent as many of these opportunities as possible, here’s what you need to do in accordance with AAOS:
- Never allow children under the age of six to ride the trampoline.
- Allow only one child at a time.
- Always have an adult supervised.
- Don’t rely on safety nets; It is best to place the trampoline as close to the ground as possible.
So trampoline jumping seems a lot less fun now. And your child will surely find a way to hurt himself.
With that said, it’s your choice – everything in life is at risk. Car accidents are common and deadly, but we drive cars anyway. Drinking alcohol is great fun, but it increases your chances of getting cancer . I used to play roller derby, a sport with a lot of broken limbs and concussions; If I wanted to tackle the gymnastic trampoline , I would also face some risks, and I might decide that it is worth it. But as for my kids, who sometimes ask if we can buy a trampoline or can they visit a friend who has one? I distract them with video games.