From The Stir
Here's a big buzz kill when it comes to kids' backyard fun. Pediatricians have come out this week blasting trampolines for being dangerous apparatuses of doom. They all but said they should be banished. Yes, even withthe nets around them.
A new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says nearly 100,000 injuries result from trampolines each year and strongly discourages their use in personal homes. They said even though there has been a decreasein injuries, they're still dangerous, and that could be attributed to the fact there are just fewer trampolines. All those nets and padding aren't helping either and may "provide a false sense of security," they say.
What big bummer, but I can't say I'm surprised or saddened by the news.
Growing up, one of my best friends had a trampoline that I coveted so badly I thought I would die. We bounced on it endlessly and even camped out on it at night. My parents would never cave and get me one though, which infuriated me at the time, but now I understand.
When we bought our current house, there was one in the backyard that I demanded be removed before our move-in day. My 4-year-old was devastated at the time, but the risk is just too great. I'm typically one who doesn't shy away from physical risks, but trampolines are different. I know a man who has been in a wheelchair since he was a teenager because of a trampoline accident; I fractured my own ankle on one. I've witnessed too many other accidents and near misses over the years on trampolines. And yes, accidents happen on bikes, Big Wheels, and skateboards too, but not like they do while kids are soaring through the air.
Of course there are precautions you can take, like limiting jumping to one child at a time, prohibiting flips, and actively supervising kids. But are the risks really worth it? Dr. Susannah Briskin said in a statement:
Not everything has complete recovery. Head and neck injuries make up 10 to 15 percent of all injuries and those are the injuries that carry the greatest risk of leading to catastrophic damage.
It's too bad, because they're fun, and they're great exercise. But when the risk is this high, I'll keep them on the list of things my kids will probably someday resent me for denying them.
Do you have a trampoline?
Image via Suburban Paparazzi/Flickr