If you have kids, at some point they may beg you to put up a trampoline in the backyard, or play on one at a friend’s or neighbor’s house. While it may seem like innocent childhood fun, trampolines can be dangerous.
At In and Out Express Care, we see a number of sprains, fractures, dislocations, and other injuries. And unfortunately, in the summertime, the number of trampoline-related injuries in kids rises exponentially.
The Truth Behind Trampolines
Before you allow your child to jump on trampolines, consider these facts:
- Nearly 93 percent of the fractures seen in children under the age of 16 are related to trampolines.
- Trampolines cause hundreds of thousands of injuries every year. In 2014, the most recent data available from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 100,000 emergency room visits were related to trampoline injuries nationwide.
- Head and neck injuries account for 10-15% of all trampoline injuries and can potentially lead to permanent neurological or spinal damage.
- The use of safety equipment on trampolines has shown no substantial reduction in the rate or severity of injuries.
- Due to the high risk of injury from trampolines, many homeowners insurance policies contain a trampoline exclusion. Meaning, if someone else’s child sustains an injury on your trampoline, you’d be fully responsible for all medical/legal expenses.
Safety Tips for Trampolines
If you do own a backyard trampoline or if you allow your children to jump on trampolines, you’ll want to set a few ground rules to mitigate the risk of injury:
- Only allow one person to jump at a time. Most injuries are due to jumpers colliding with each other, doing dangerous stunts, or causing unsafe rebound force from “double bouncing”.
- Use safety nets and padding. Even though the data has not conclusively shown a decrease in injuries due to the use of safety enclosures, this could partially be due to incorrect installation, abuse, or improper maintenance. It is still a good idea to use a safety enclosure and padding; make sure they are installed properly; and inspect regularly for damage.
- Don’t allow young children to jump on trampolines. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) states that children under 6 should never use trampolines.
- Always supervise trampoline activity. Don’t allow children access to a trampoline without an adult watching.
What About Trampoline Parks?
You might think that trampoline parks are safer, under the assumption that they are regulated and operating as professional businesses. But, think twice before you send your child off to that birthday party at the jump park.
There are no federal standards for indoor trampoline parks, and only nine states have any sort of regulation in place.
In the last few years, trampoline park injuries that resulted in a visit to the ER have shot up exponentially — from 2,500 in 2013 to nearly 18,000 only four years later.
The danger of injury at trampoline parks is due to the design of the trampolines themselves and the fact that multiple people are using them at once.
When Trampolines = Urgent Care
If your child suffers an injury, whether jumping on a trampoline, or just being a kid, we’re here when you need us. In and Out Express Care has four urgent care locations in Hampton Roads. We treat children as young as two years old.
While we’re not here to hamper anybody’s fun, we do want your family to be safe. So remember, if you use trampolines, jump responsibly!