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Doctors advise parents to beware of trampolines
09.24.2012According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), accidents resulting from jumping on trampolines led to almost 100,000 children a year meeting with emergency department physicians after spills resulting from use of the popular backyard recreational mats. Their latest findings on the hazards of trampolines appear in the upcoming issue of the journal Pediatrics.
The organization urges pediatricians to warn parents against allowing their children on trampolines, as the rate of injuries has remained constant despite the implementation of safety devices like nets. Sprains, strains, fractures and dislocations are known potential consequences of trampoline mishaps, but severe spinal injuries can result from misuse as well.
“I think parents see the soft, springy mat and they think it’s safe, like water,” Michele LaBotz, a sports medicine physician and one of the lead authors of the study, told NBC News. “What they don’t realize is that once you get it bouncing, especially if there are multiple users, it can be dangerous....If the kid comes down wrong, it is the same as falling 9 or 10 feet onto a hard surface.”
The AAP states that 75 percent of all trampoline injuries occur when more than one individual uses the trampoline at the same time, with the smallest bouncer of the group being at risk for the greatest harm.
A follow-up report from NBC News details an accident involving an 8-year-old girl who, while showing her mother gymnastics moves on a trampoline, flew off the mat. After receiving immediate care at a hospital, it was determined that the child had only suffered a concussion and a strained neck from landing on her head. However, her mother told the news source that all the recommended safety precautions had been followed. She supervised her child while she played on the trampoline and did not allow more than one person on it at the same time.
But some argue with the AAP's warning. Mark Publicover, president of the trampoline company JumpSport Inc. told Reuters that his products are much safer for children than climbing trees or riding skateboards.
"When they say, ‘Don't use trampolines with a safety enclosure,' they are going to increase the number of injuries," Publicover told the news source.
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