Growing up, my friend Jackie lived across the street. As a little girl, I spent hours and hours jumping on her trampoline. It was a large rectangle trampoline and oh so much fun. That was until I was 8 or so when I bounced and hit my head on the metal bars. After that, my “love” for trampolines turned to fear.
When our first set of kids were toddlers, my brother gave them a trampoline with a safety net. In my mind, this would of prevented them from hitting their head on the metal bars experiencing the pain that I feared from oh so many years ago. The kids loved it, and so did us parents. They bounced all of their energy out time and time again. We made sure all played safely on it, and for the few years it was up – no injuries occurred.
We took the trampoline down when we were planning on putting the house on the market a years back. The kids miss it. I miss the energy they exerted on it. As we move into a new home, the kids are wanting another trampoline.
Today the American Association of Pediatrics sent out a notice stating that the organization is advising against recreational trampoline use.
“Pediatricians need to actively discourage recreational trampoline use,” said Michele LaBotz, MD, FAAP, co-author of the updated policy statement. “Families need to know that many injuries occur on the mat itself, and current data do not appear to demonstrate that netting or padding significantly decrease the risk of injury.”
Most trampoline injuries (75 percent) occur when multiple people are jumping on the mat. The smallest and youngest participants are usually at greater risk for significant injury, specifically children 5 years of age or younger. Forty-eight percent of injuries in this age group resulted in fractures or dislocations.
Common injuries in all age groups include sprains, strains and contusions. Falls from a trampoline accounted for 27 percent to 39 percent of all injuries, and can potentially be catastrophic. Many injuries have occurred even with adult supervision. The AAP policy statement also addresses the safety of trampoline parks. The AAP suggests that the precautions outlined for recreational use also apply to all commercial jump parks. Injury rates at these facilities should continue to be monitored.
EEK. On one hand, while I know the AAP is just advising what is best (they also don’t want my kid to see a screen until at least 2 – whoops) – I don’t think I can totally say “No Way Jose!” to the trampoline, but that be said you can’t deny the number of injuries occurring on trampolines in peoples’ backyards. In fact, when we switched home insurance policies – we were questioned about our trampoline. How did they know we had one at one time? Google Maps (SNEAKY!).
If we purchase another trampoline, we will spend the extra money for a SpringFree Trampoline. It’s a safer alternative to the traditional trampoline with a net. (You can read the safety enhancements Springfree has made to their trampoline over the traditional spring version here.)
Our older kids would enjoy it, and so would our toddlers (though the 2 parties will never be allowed to jump together), but I wanna hear from you!
What Do You Think? Toddlers and Trampolines Yay or Nay?
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Molly blogs parenting, geekery and technology at digitalmomblog.com.