Some people divide the world of families into those with kids and those without. Some label families according the woman’s major role: stay-at-home mom or career woman. Others see things in terms wealth: rich/poor, haves/have-nots, private school/public school, new car/used.
Here’s how my husband categorizes the world: families with trampolines … and everyone else. He shuns the former, embraces the rest. The guy really hates trampolines — something about “a neck injury waiting to happen.”
No surprise then that he sent me a link this morning to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that concludes trampolines are simply too dangerous to use and doctors should actively discourage their patients’ families from setting one up.
“Pediatricians need to actively discourage recreational trampoline use,” said Dr. Michele LaBotz, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics executive council on sports medicine and fitness. “This is not a toy. It’s a piece of equipment. We recommend that you not provide it for your family or your neighbors to use. But if you do use one, you need to be aware of the risks.”
The AAP came up with a list of guidelines for families who do allow their children to jump on a trampoline, which you can read in full here.
Most at risk on trampolines are kids 6 years and younger, who account for around one-third of all trampoline injuries. In 2009, more than 100,000 injuries due to trampolines were reported. Most concerning to the doctors was the finding that 1 in every 200 trampoline injuries resulted in a permanent neurologic damage.
One way to reduce injury is to limit the number of jumpers on a trampoline at one time. Nearly 75 percent of all injuries happen when more than one person is jumping on the trampoline at a time. In those instances, the smaller child is more than 14 times likely to be the injured one.
Especially important to note is that nets have not cut the rate of injury. Adult supervision doesn’t help either, apparently. The report said most parents reported in the emergency room that what happened was a freak accident — everything had been going just fine. But doctors know the injuries are actually patterns — expected outcomes from trampolines — which is why doctors are recommending against their use.
Perhaps my husband is creating a third category in his head — one that encompasses trampoline owners who are breaking down their jumpers and stashing them away in the garage.
More from Madeline on Strollerderby: