Backyard trampolines "too dangerous" according to pediatricians

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In a recent policy statement, the American Academy of Pedeatrics strongly discourages the use of home backyard trampolines by children, calling them “intrinsically dangerous.”  According to the group, even use of padding and net enclosures do not significantly reduce the risk of personal injury.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Canadian Pediatric Society, and the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine concur, and all have issued similar warnings concerning the recreational and playground use of trampolines.

Even though trampoline sales and injuries peaked several years ago, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimated that 98,000 trampoline-related injuries occurred in 2009.  Those injuries resulted in 3,100 hospitalizations.

Children aged 5 and under are at greatest risk for serious injury, with fractures and dislocations accounting for nearly half of the reported injuries.  Nearly three-fourths of the injuries occurred when multiple people were jumping on the trampoline at the same time.  Between 27% and 39% of injuries occurred when individuals fell from the trampoline.  Head and neck injuries account for 10% to 17% of trampoline-related injuries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also noted that many home insurance policies exclude trampolines from coverage or require that the trampoline be located in an enclosed area with limited access.

Trampoline manufacturers take issue with the doctors’ statement, citing health benefits of exercise for children.  The manufacturers advised trampoline users to follow use guidelines and obey all product warnings, including limiting jumpers to one at a time, no somersaults, and adult supervision.

For more information, contact the Ohio personal injury attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List.

Source: USA Today, “Pediatricians: Backyard trampolines too dangerous,” Michelle Healy, September 24, 2012.