Trampoline Safety: Home Trampoline are Strongly Discouraged
Trampolines are a source of great excitement for children: Jumping and bouncing high up in the air gives the thrill. Seeing the children’s pleasure very many parents indulge in it, hoping their supervision will prevent trampoline injuries.
Even parents’ supervision does not decrease the risk of trampoline injuries, and it is strongly discouraged for homes.
Children enjoy the activity in a group with a tinge of competition, as to how high each one can go, is what makes it a dangerous sport. Younger the child, more dangerous the injuries can be. Statistics show that half of the emergency room admissions attributable to trampoline injuries are of children ≤ 4 years of age.
How do trampoline injuries occur?
The mechanism that makes trampoline such a fun is the same that leads to injuries; contributing factors being –
1. Several playmates use trampoline mat at the same time.
Children differ in size and weight. Statistics show that the lighter children are 14 times more at risk of sustaining injuries. The recoil created by a heavier child is much more than a child with a lighter body can sustain. Consequently, the impact of the falling body on trampoline mat has to be as bad as falling on hard ground.
2. Fall from the trampoline mat account for almost 40 percent of trampoline injuries. If placed on uneven surface the chances of unbalanced bounces are markedly increased. The impact with the ground, trees or any other object leads to fractures and tears.
3. Hit by spring or the frame of trampoline account for 1 in 5 trampoline injuries.
Types of injuries
• Sprains and strains
• Contusions and tears
• Fractures dislocations
Parts of the body injured
Lower extremities are more frequently injured. However fall from trampoline may also involve upper extremities.
Head and neck
These are the most devastating injuries and account for permanent neurological damage in 0.5 percent of all trampoline injuries incurred.
Usually they are caused by the fall from trampoline on the ground or any other object in near vicinity.
Cervical spine injuries (injury that occur to the spinal cord of the neck, commonly known as neck breaking injuries): Besides fall, such injuries can be caused by failed somersault or excessive twisting in one or the other direction.
Injuries to chest bone (sternal bone) and tear of vertebral artery also do occur but are very rare.
“Trampoline Safety in Childhood and Adolescence,” Pediatrics October 2012;130:774–779, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidelines on patterns and mechanism of trampoline injury. In this report the studies on the efficacy of trampoline safety measures are also reviewed.
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