Trampoline Safety – How Dangerous Are They?
Trampolines pose a high risk of injury to children and teens. Even a backyard model can cause serious head and neck injuries as well as fractures of the arms and legs.
Every year, approximately 100,000 people are injured on traditional trampolines in the U.S., resulting in 3,100 hospitalizations, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
When the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reviewed the rates of trampoline injuries between 2002 and 2011, it found there were about one million emergency room visits for trampoline injuries.
Most of the injured were younger than 17 years of age. One-third of the injuries resulted in broken bones while one in 200 led to neurological damage, such as brain damage, which can be permanent.
Adult supervision is no guarantee your child will stay safe.
The most common injuries include:
* Head and Appendage – Jumping with more than one person at a time accounts for most trampoline injuries.
* Head, Back and Sprains, Neurological injuries – From landing improperly following a somersault and flip.
* Broken Bones, Head and Spinal Injuries – Result in falls from a trampoline.
Limit moves to jumping and do not allow somersaults or other risky jumps on the trampoline without instruction and supervision.
The youngest children under the age of five account for 75% of trampoline injuries when there are multiple people on the mat. In this age group, 48% of the injuries resulted in fractures or dislocations.
The cost of these injuries with emergency room visits is estimated to be over $1 billion, reports the AAP.
The AAP recommends that trampolines only be used in supervised training program like diving and gymnastics, and that pediatricians actively discourage recreational trampoline use.
To keep children safe using a home-based trampoline there are several things to follow.
- Install a
net and pad – a special net enclosure that surrounds the
trampoline should cover its frame, springs and prevent the jumper from landing
on the ground. Make sure there are
protective pads along the side rails.
at ground level – Parents may opt to bury the trampoline legs in
the ground so the jumping surface is at ground level. That reduces any injury
from a fall onto the ground. Keep the
jumping surface clear of trees and other hazards.
Young Children Off – Mayo Clinic recommends that children younger than
age 6 not be able to use the trampoline.
Only one person at a time should be on the trampoline. A small child is about 14 times as likely to
be injured as a larger one, says AAP.
- Impose rules – Including no somersaults, flips, and only one jumper at a time.
AL.com reports on the number of injuries being seen in a new extreme trampoline park which has drawn thousands of jumpers since it opened las year.
The Alabama Orthopaedic Center reports it had to operate on two patients just six weeks after the park was injured. One suffered a severe fracture in both legs and another person had a severe knee dislocation. These injuries go beyond football injuries says a doctor with the center and affects all ages. There are a reported 50 trampoline parks currently open in the U.S. reports the paper.
A California based advocacy group, Think Before you Bounce, believes unregulated trampoline parks should be subject to inspections and required to disclose injuries suffered on their premises.
A Seattle area trampoline park finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after fighting lawsuits filed by about 20 families who complained of injury to jumpers including small children. Injuries involve multiple leg breaks, a broken hip, and a broken neck.
At the very least, follow the rules and regulations of the trampoline park.
Personal Injury Law Firm
Smith & McGhee recommends if you have a trampoline in your backyard, verify that you have insurance that covers trampoline injury-related claims. Most do not.
If you or a loved one have been injured while using a trampoline, either one in a back yard or in a trampoline park, Smith & McGhee will aggressively advocate for your interests to seek compensation from the at-fault party. Let’s discuss your damages during a complimentary consultation.
Contact our office at 334-377-1674 so we can begin the conversation.