(As seen on Fox 2 The Ladies Room)
When I was growing up, we didn’t have a trampoline; my parents thought it was too dangerous. I remember thinking that something that looked so fun — so much like bouncing up and down on a mattress — couldn’t really be that dangerous.
It seems that they might have been right, though. Over 210,000 children are treated for trampoline injuries every year, accounting for over $4 billion dollars of medical, legal, and disability costs! Half of these injuries occur in children aged 5 to 10. This is such a critical issue that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has recommended the following guidelines:
Trampolines should be used for formal athletic training only with appropriate adult supervision, instruction, and safety measures.
Trampolines should not be used for unsupervised recreational activity.
Only one participant should use a trampoline at any time.
Spotters should be present when participants are jumping. Somersaults or high-risk maneuvers should be avoided without proper supervision and instruction; these maneuvers should be done only with proper use of protective equipment, such as a harness.
The trampoline-jumping surface should be placed at ground level.
The supporting bars, strings and surrounding landing surfaces should have adequate protective padding.
Equipment should be checked regularly for safety conditions.
Safety net enclosures may give a false sense of security – most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.
Trampolines are not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
Make sure trampoline ladders are removed after use to prevent unsupervised access by young children.
Trampolines might have their place in training for certain sports, but the risks are very real. As for me, I’ll leave them to the Cirque de Soleil performers and keep the bounce in my step on the ground…
For more posts by Dr. Rohde and others, go to Fox 2 The Ladies Room.