Medical City Healthcare - January 26, 2016

My son loves to watch those slow-motion videos of weightless flight and flips that make jumping on a trampoline look so awesome. He even experienced that sensation of wild abandon in a gymnastics class. Now, my young acrobat-in-training wants a backyard trampoline. And I was thinking, €œWhy not?€ I'd rather he be outside burning off energy than gazing into a digital device.

Before I caved or allowed him to play on a trampoline at a friend's house, I read the recommendation of The American Academy of Pediatrics. My thoughts of investing in a trampoline quickly disappeared.

Don't get me wrong, I love fun and the feeling of flying. But I love facts too. And these are facts that can't be denied when thinking about the safety of your children.

Even with adult supervision, gravity can quickly turn seconds of free-flight fun into a sprained ankle, cut or bruise, broken limb or worse: a potentially paralyzing head or neck injury.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated there were 104,691 hospital emergency room visits due to trampoline injuries in 2014. It also reported 22 trampoline-related deaths between 2000 and 2009. Most injuries were the result of colliding with other people on the trampoline, improperly landing or falling on the trampoline springs or frame. Additional serious injuries occurred from falling off the trampoline and hitting trees or other objects on the ground.

Young and old, girls and boys – trampoline safety is a concern.

The American Academy of Pediatrics found that 75% of trampoline injuries occurred when there was more than one person on the trampoline at the same time. The smallest jumpers were 14%  more likely to be injured. Children under age 6 accounted for more than a third of the trampoline injuries seen at emergency departments. Nearly half of the injuries to girls and boys under age 5 were fractures or dislocations. But older kids weren't immune, with nearly a third of kids age 6 to 17 suffering breaks and sprains.

Among all trampoline-related injuries, more than 10% were head and neck injuries. And when you think of all you do to try to grow the gray matter in your kids, that seems like a scary statistic.

If you have a trampoline or your jumping beans play on one at a friend's house, here are safety tips to reduce the risk of injury:

  • ALWAYS have adult supervision present when children use the trampoline
  • ONLY allow one child at a time on the trampoline
  • DO NOT let children under age 6 use the trampoline and do not provide a ladder or any other means for them to climb onto the trampoline by themselves
  • DO NOT ALLOW children to attempt somersaults or tricks or to grab or hang onto the enclosure netting
  • DO make sure shock absorbing pads completely cover the springs, frame, and hooks
  • DO use trampoline enclosures to help prevent falls off the trampoline
  • DO place trampolines on even ground away from structures, trees and other play areas

Do you know your neighborhood ER?

You don't want the first time you think about an ER to be during an emergency. Watch a quick video for tips on how to be educated about the emergency rooms in your community.

If someone in your family takes a tumble on or off a trampoline, one of our many Medical City ER locations across North Texas has you covered. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City ER near you.

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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