Bone Structure Leaves Toddlers Prone to Trampoline Injury
Toddlers and children are at higher risk for injuries on trampolines due to the differences in their bone structure, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Why Are Children at a Higher Risk on Trampolines?
According to Dr. Randall Loder, children’s bones are more softer, spongy, and compressible. If they come under the right forces they can snap.
WTHR reprots that even jumping can cause fractures that lead to more severe injuries as in the case of Sydney Little. Her leg broke in two places and one of the bones went through the growth plate that controls bone growth. If it breaks or gets injured, the potential for growth is jeopardized. Her right leg is now longer than her left, which means she will have to get many more surgeries in the future.
The APA recommends pediatricians to keep their kids off of trampolines since many injures occur even with reported adult supervision.
Multiple kids can increase the risk to the smallest jumpers. Individuals 5 years and younger have an increased risk of trampoline related breaks or dislocations.
The APA says trampolines at structured gymnastics programs are an exception because there are trained coaches who teach kids how to use trampolines safely by having body control.
Statistics on Trampoline-related Injuries in Children
All information provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System:
- For 2014, an estimated 104,691 people suffered trampoline injuries. Over 85% of the reported injuries concerned children.
- Children ages 2-5 accounted for 24,318 trampoline-related ER visits. 42% of those were for bone-related injuries.
- There were seven times the number of broken bones for 4 to 6 years olds injured on trampolines compared to 4 to 6 years olds injured by playing soccer.
Trampoline Advice for Parents
All information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Homeowners should verify that their insurance policies cover trampoline-related claims. Coverage is highly variable and a rider may need to be obtained.
- Trampoline use should be restricted to a single jumper on the mat at any given time.
- Trampolines should have adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed.
- Trampolines should be set at ground level whenever possible or on a level surface and in an area cleared of any surrounding hazards.
- Frequent inspection and appropriate replacement of protective padding, net enclosure, and any other damaged parts should occur.
- Trampolines should be discarded if replacement parts are unavailable and the product is worn or damaged.
- Somersaults and flips are among the most common causes of permanent and devastating cervical spine injuries and should not be performed in the recreational setting.
- Active supervision by adults familiar with the above recommendations should occur at all times. Supervising adults should be willing and able to enforce these guidelines. Mere presence of an adult is not sufficient.
- Parents should confirm that these guidelines are in place anytime their child is likely to use a trampoline.