Study Shows a Dramatic Spike in Trampoline Injuries
By Meaghan Olson
A new study by Dr. James G. Linakis of Brown Medical School shows a dramatic spike during the last ten years of kids going to the emergency room after being injured during trampoline play. According to the statistics, trampoline related injuries have more than doubled over the last ten years.
Between 2000 and 2005, just over half a million children were treated in emergency rooms across the country for injuries sustained on trampolines. Between 1990 and 1995, there were only a quarter of a million trampoline injuries seen in emergency rooms. There were also far fewer trampolines in backyards across America during that time frame.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged pediatricians in 1999 to inform parents of the dangers of backyard trampoline use and urge them not to allow their children to play on them, it seems the warnings have fallen on deaf ears.
Trampoline sales have risen and continue to rise. They are a popular form of backyard recreation in the United States, with parents shelling out hundreds of dollars for trampolines and safety equipment that they believe will protect their children. No one seems to be listening to the experts about the significant dangers.
Dr. Linakis believes there is truly no way to keep a child safe on a trampoline. The statistics seem to back him up, because with all the money spent on safety enclosures and frame padding for home trampolines, hundreds of thousands of kids are still ending up in the emergency room.
The AAP called for a complete ban on trampolines at school in 1977. In 1981, they revised their stance on the issue, saying that trampolines could be used at schools for a trial period. They firmly stated at that time that trampolines should never be used in a home or recreational setting.
Of the half million trampoline related injuries reported between 2000 and 2005, approximately 5,650 of the kids requiring an emergency room visit were under 5 years old. These small children frequently were treated for broken bones and fractures.
Among the older children who required emergency medical treatment at hospitals, the most common injuries reported were bumps and bruises. This may not sound very serious, but keep in mind the children were taken to the emergency room for these injuries. This indicates that the kids are getting some very serious "bumps and bruises" by playing on trampolines in the backyard.
Dr. Linakis says that recently he has seen children with serious bone fractures from trampoline use. The nastiest of the injuries have required surgeries to repair and some have resulted in serious complications. Kids aren't just getting little bumps and scratches here and there from trampolines. More serious injuries are on the rise.
As a result of the study, Dr. Linakis and his colleagues at Brown Medical School are asking that emergency room doctors as well as pediatricians warn parents of the dangers of trampoline use and ask them to never buy trampolines for their children to play on at home. Parents should also be sure that their children aren't allowed to play on trampolines while visiting their friend's homes.
Meanwhile, most retailers across America are not removing their trampoline displays and sales don't seem to be slowing down.