Whether child or adult, jumping on trampolines are a fun way to start your summer. Some families may have a trampoline set up in their backyard or may go to a trampoline park, however, trampolining is a cause for injuries in children.
Younger children are at higher risk for injuries than older children by 14 times. In 2009, there were 100,000 cases of trampoline related injuries in small children. The number has since increased because of rising popularity of trampoline parks. Since children are susceptible to fractures, concussions, and head and neck sprains, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using trampolines at all. Although the trampoline doesn’t seem like the place for serious injuries, cases like head and neck sprains can result in and in rare cases, paralysis and even death may occur. 20-30% of trampoline related injuries require surgical treatment. These injuries are caused by trying to do flips and stunts; spinal cord injuries are caused by collision with others and spring frames. Less serious injuries are lacerations and scrapes.
The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend using trampolines, but there are ways to prevent injury. If you set up a trampoline in the backyard, make sure that there are no trees, fences, or sharp objects around the trampoline. Preferably, the trampoline should not be too high off the ground because the greater the height, the greater the injury. Padding and springs should be secured to provide safety when landing. Safety nets also lessen the chance of children falling off the trampoline. When more than one person is using a trampoline at a time, it poses a higher risk to injury because they may collide into each other. What’s more is that children should use ladders to go in and out of the trampoline. Additionally, the trampoline should not be damp or used after the rain unless wiped down; the slipperiness can cause wrong landings. If not a training athlete or professional, it is not recommended to do somersaults, flips, and stunts. Lastly and most importantly, parents should supervise their children and limit their time on the trampoline.
With all these safety tips in mind, please be wary of how you use your trampoline. Preventive care is the best care.
-Samatha Lee, 2019 Enterprise for Youth Intern