America’s pediatricians warn parents about the dangers of trampolines Show Notes

Friday, October 05, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement strongly discouraging the use of recreational trampolines at home.

According to the Reuters news agency, the AAP began recommending stronger safety measures for trampolines several years ago. When they did, manufacturers responded by adding safety nets and padding.

But now the organization has issued an updated statement on the issue. Dr. Susannah Briskin, one of the pediatricians who examined recent findings, says "As best we can tell, the addition of safety nets and padding has not changed the injuries we have seen."

Dr. Briskin says that while the number of injuries has been dropping –the number of families that have trampolines has also decreased. AAP statistics show that head and neck injuries make up 10-15 percent of all injuries and about 1 in 200 trampoline injuries result in permanent neurological damage.

The AAP offers these tips to help make trampoline usage safer:

  • Make sure the trampoline is used one at a time.
  • Have effective padding around springs and frame.
  • Place the trampoline on level ground.
  • Avoid somersaults and flips.
  • And actively supervise kids.

Given the stats on trampoline injuries, my wife and I have chosen not to buy one for our kids. Even so, our son was slightly injured at a local gymnastics center, when he and another boy bumped heads while jumping on a large room-sized trampoline. So the AAP’s advice about one user at a time is critical.

To learn more about the new recommendations, you can visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website at aap.org.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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