Trampolines Not Safe for Kids, Pediatricians Say

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated a 1999 recommendation concerning trampolines, now warning children to stay away from them at home and at playgrounds.  Nearly 100,000 emergency room visits can be attributed each year to trampoline-related injuries, the group said, and new “safety features” on many trampolines can give families a false sense of security.  Reuters has more:

“As best we can tell, the addition of safety nets and padding has actually not changed the injuries we have seen,” said Dr. Susannah Briskin, a sports medicine specialist who helped draft the new statement.

It’s estimated that the number of trampoline injuries nationwide has been dropping – from 111,851 cases treated at ERs in 2004, to 97,908 in 2009. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the devices have become any less dangerous, Briskin told Reuters Health.

“Even though there has been a decrease in injuries,” she said, “I caution people against taking that too literally because the number of trampolines has also decreased.”

The actual risk of hurting yourself if you step onto a trampoline is not clear, Briskin added, because there are no good data on national exposure. The rate of hospitalization due to the injuries is about three percent.

Mark Publicover, founder and president of JumpSport Inc, a trampoline manufacturer in San Jose, California, scoffed at the AAP’s recommendations.

He said he invented a safety net that encircles the trampoline and cuts the number of injuries by half. And, he added, if parents ban trampolines, their children might start climbing trees, using swings or skateboards, for instance.

“If you look at all those activities, a safety-enclosed trampoline is safer by hours of use,” Publicover told Reuters Health. “When they say, ‘Don’t use trampolines with a safety enclosure,’ they are going to increase the number of injuries.”

Image: Kids on trampoline, via Shutterstock

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  1. by Judith

    On September 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I’m a mother of 2 boys. They had a trampoline and used it a lot and never any injuries happened. I think it’s really not okay to stop children from having fun and getting good exercise no matter what. I prefer having happy and active children instead of a couch potato who gains more and more weight and are more and more lethargic.
    Please encourage kids being active otherwise they are hyper in schools and the teachers don’t like that and the school psychologist prescribe psych drugs because they have forgotten that a child has energy and is supposed to be active and having fun! The drugs is the product which destroys our future by drugging our children. So stay active and it’s okay to have a little dangerous environment, this keeps kids more alert and lively!

  2. by Dana

    On September 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    We bought our 2 year old an enclosed trampoline (small one, about 4′ diameter) and it stays in the house in our playroom. Her time is limited on it and is always monitored. We got her the trampoline because she kept jumping on her bed and on the couch. We figured the enclosed trampoline is safer than her jumping on furniture where she has fallen off of.

  3. by Stacy

    On September 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I personally believe instead of telling kids they should not do something, how about we tell the parents/caregivers to pay attention. Most accidents could be prevented with adult supervision. Kids need to be able to play and not be afraid to do anything because of irresponsible parents.