School is out!!! Let’s Keep Kids Safe This Summer!
Nothing says summer like the end of another school year! We know, summer officially begins on June 21st, but for those of us with children, the real first day of summer is the last day of school. Most of our kids can look forward to at least three months without homework, classes or exams to worry about, and can devote their free time to sports, hobbies, or that wonderful youthful pastime of doing nothing at all.
Summer brings with it camps, swimming pools, little league, soccer, skateboards, bicycles, in-line skates, basketball, tennis, and all sorts of other physical activities. And with the increase in physical activity, there is inevitably an increase in physical injuries.
Sports and Recreational Injuries This Summer
Parents are being cautioned about trampoline use because of the safety risk they present again this summer. Trampolines have been the backyard play equipment to have for the past few years — practically every other backyard in my neighborhood has one. Sure, they’re fun, kids love them. No doubt you would have found me there every chance I got when I was a kid. What child doesn’t like to bounce out in the sun… but they are just too dangerous.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is re-issuing a statement in the journal Pediatrics recommending against trampoline use because of the safety risk they present.
In the original statement from 1999, the AAP advocated against children using the bouncy structures — although they approved the limited use of them under the direct supervision of appropriately trained individuals in a therapeutic or training situation when there were safety nets, harnesses, and padding installed.
Backyard Trampoline Dangers on the Rise
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that trampoline-related injuries nearly tripled in a recent ten-year period. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, backyard trampolines are responsible for 100,000 visits to the emergency room each year, making them more dangerous than backyard pools. In fact, there are more serious injuries from trampolines than other activities like skiing, skateboarding, rollerblading and cycling combined.
For nearly 15 years, in fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has condemned the use of backyard trampolines. It concludes they should not be used for recreation or on playgrounds, saying, “Despite all currently available measures to prevent injury, the potential for serious injury while using a trampoline remains.”
The vast majority of trampoline injuries that do not occur from falling off the trampoline. They occur on the tramp and the primary cause is that there’s more than one child jumping at the same time.
About 75% of trampoline injuries occur when multiple people are jumping, and kids 5 and under are usually at greater risk for significant injury. Fractures and dislocations make up 48% of injuries. Common injuries in all age groups include sprains, strains and contusions. Add older kids trying to do somersaults and tricks on trampolines, and the risk for severe injury escalates.
Falls from Tree houses
According to the National Safety Council, falls account for 26% of all accidental injuries and deaths in the home. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries; that totals nearly 2.8 million children each year. Tree houses can be primary culprits because of their height.
Falls from a trampoline accounted for 27% to 39% of all injuries, and can potentially be catastrophic, resulting in head and neck injuries. Several reports put head and neck injuries at 10% to 17% of all trampoline-related injuries. Many of these injuries have occurred even with adult supervision. These are just some examples of the results of trampoline-jumping gone wrong.
Trampolines Are Just Too Dangerous!
Various industry spokespersons say trampolines offer a “great way to exercise” and that “proper” use, such as one child at a time and “adult supervision” are key to keeping them safe. While trampoline manufacturers do meet all federal safety guidelines, experts warn it’s not enough. Safety netting, padding and placing the trampoline on soft ground away from objects can all help but the dangers remain, especially without continuous adult supervision.
And by the way, experts say kids under five should never be on that backyard trampoline.
Trampolines may seem like an innocent way for kids to have summer fun, but experts say they are just too dangerous! They can bounce your young gymnast right into the emergency room.