Just how safe are trampolines for your kids? Not at all, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In a study released by the Academy in 2012, researchers detail the very real dangers children face when jumping on trampolines.
While trampolines may seem fun for kids, they have been shown to produce patterns of injuries that can be debilitating or even life-threatening. In addition to sprains, strains and contusions, in one out of two hundred times, getting hurt on a trampoline can lead to catastrophic injuries with resulting permanent neurological damage.
Of all the findings made by the AAP's researchers, perhaps the most alarming is this: smaller children are fourteen times at greater risk for serious injuries on the trampoline. Alongside this fact, the study reported that the danger of injury rises 75% with multiple children jumping on the trampoline at the same time. Data showed that 29% of emergency room injuries among kids 6-17 years of age were fractures or dislocations, while among children 5 and under that figure rose to 48%.
Although parents may feel better by putting up safety nets around trampolines, the AAP contends with plenty of evidence that such measures make little difference in reality. Dr. Michele LaBotz, the author of the Academy's study, states:
This is not a toy. It's a piece of equipment. We recommend that you not provide it for your family or your neighbors to use. But if you do use one, you need to be aware of the risks.
Many of us may have trampolines in our backyards, but it's time to reassess the level of danger we could be subjecting our children to.