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The recent growth of trampoline as a competitive sport, the emergence of commercial indoor trampoline parks, research on the efficacy of safety measures, and more recently recognized patterns of catastrophic injury with recreational trampoline use have prompted a review of the current literature and an update of previous AAP policy statements regarding trampolines.
Many people who give up running complain that their feet and ankles simply can't handle the workout anymore. If this is you, then you should consider using a rebounder trampoline. Since the trampoline mat and springs will absorb most of the pressure from your workout, you can still get a great workout without sacrificing your feet and ankle joints as much.
But what's the likelihood that your kid is going to get hurt? That's a lot harder to figure out. For one thing, we don't have good data on how many kids jump on trampolines and how frequently, which is crucial to answering the question. Using data from a national sample of hospitals, the Consumer Product Safety Commission devises national estimates of how many product-related injuries result in emergency room visits. It estimated that last year among kids under 18, there were 103,512 ER visits due to trampoline accidents. That sounds like a lot, and it is. But that number doesn't tell you anything about how likely it is that one particular kid will end up in the ER after jumping on a trampoline for, say, half an hour—to get there, we'd need to know how much exposure kids have to trampolines. If 20 million kids each jumped on trampolines for two hours a day and there were 103,512 trampoline-induced ER visits, that would be less concerning than if only 1 million kids jumped, and only for a few minutes here and there, yet this infrequent use still resulted in 103,512 ER trips.
The way you set up your trampoline has a lot to do with how safe you make your jumping experience. Avoid hills, slopes or bumpy spots. Instead, install your trampoline on a level surface with sturdy ground — preferably covered by a soft coating like sand, springy lawn, fresh grass or wood chips. You can also put down ground safety pads. A level surface and softening materials make it less likely that your children will fall and ensure that if they do, there's less risk of injury.
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Despite previous recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics discouraging home use of trampolines, recreational use of trampolines in the home setting continues to be a popular activity among children and adolescents. This policy statement is an update to previous statements, reflecting the current literature on prevalence, patterns, and mechanisms of trampoline-related injuries. Most trampoline injuries occur with multiple simultaneous users on the mat. Cervical spine injuries often occur with falls off the trampoline or with attempts at somersaults or flips. Studies on the efficacy of trampoline safety measures are reviewed, and although there is a paucity of data, current implementation of safety measures have not appeared to mitigate risk substantially. Therefore, the home use of trampolines is strongly discouraged. The role of trampoline as a competitive sport and in structured training settings is reviewed, and recommendations for enhancing safety in these environments are made.
Before jumping, check for dangerous looseness, fraying, holes or wear to prevent injuries when jumping. Because slippery surfaces are dangerous for bouncing, you should also always make sure your trampoline is dry and clear of snow or rain. If you do find damage, don't try to fix it on your own with home solutions like duct tape. Foreign materials can affect the spring and the quality of bounce. Instead, replace the surface with another jumping mat of the same size and high quality.
This document is copyrighted and is property of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Board of Directors. All authors have filed conflict of interest statements with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Any conflicts have been resolved through a process approved by the Board of Directors. The American Academy of Pediatrics has neither solicited nor accepted any commercial involvement in the development of the content of this publication.
With spring nearly upon us, many of you will now be venturing into the garden to tidy up and make preparations for the new Season. If you have a trampoline and it's looking a little tired after the long cold winter, here are some tips to help restore it to its former glory.
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"For a child, there is nothing more fun than defying gravity and soaring as high as you can," says Ahmed A. Bazzi, D.O., orthopedic surgeon at Children's Hospital of Michigan DMC. "I was once a kid too. The trouble lies in the force exerted by the landing on the child's softer bones, growth plates and ligaments. This is also magnified by the poor motor skills and balancing of a young child under the age of 6. The risks of injury certainly outweigh any perceived physical activity or exercise benefit that may exist."
Don't overwork yourself here. You are in for the long haul. Especially if you are using your rebounder trampoline as a replacement for cardiovascular exercise. Do small jumps and set yourself at a pace which you feel comfortable with. Your breathing should become more rapid, but not a level in which you are uncomfortable. Even if this means that you hop without your feet leaving the surface of the rebounder mat.
Doctors tell people not to smoke and only to drink in moderation—that doesn't mean people don't do those things. Life involves inevitable risk, and no one is saying you shouldn't ever bounce. They're saying, "bounce your heart out! Just remember that this is kind of dangerous and you should treat it as a risky activity." They're also definitely saying not to let toddlers on there. And that if you go to a trampoline park, remember that there are zero regulations for running them, and that the 20-year-old who signed you in cannot and will not protect you from harm. Trampoline jumping poses a high risk of injury for children