The American Academy Of Pediatrics Is Vilifying Trampolines

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trampolineSo assuming that you cleared your house of all those emotionally-stunting pacifiers, be sure to turn your attention to your backyard and the backyards of others. Because this week in scary parenting warnings comes in the form of trampolines — which you should now discourage, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Get in those last few somersaults while you can, kiddies.

Reuters reports that, according to the AAP, kids should stay off the contraptions both at home and at the playground. Doctors have since updated their 1999 recommendations that asked manufacturers to provide safety features to their products such as nets and padding. Yet, as of 2012, AAP finds that these add-ons “provide a false sense of security.”

AAP claims that the United States has almost 100,000 injuries a year from trampolines, which has been reportedly dropping since 2004. However, Dr. Susannah Briskin, a sports medicine specialist, clarifies that the decrease in emergency room visits doesn’t necessary mean that trampolines are becoming safer. Although she admits to lacking the data demonstrating the risks of trampolines, she adds that the number of trampolines are decreasing nationwide.

Of the data that is available, Reuters reports that three-quarters of injuries on mats happen when multiple kids are bouncing away, particularly when a much tinier one is alongside a bigger kid:

The impact of the bigger kid will thrust the smaller one high into the air, upping the chances of a rough landing, particularly if the kid comes down at an awkward point. “Most of the injuries actually occur on the mat itself,” said Briskin, adding that she sees a lot of ankles sprains and fractures in her clinic, especially the young kids… “Not everything has complete recovery,” said Briskin. “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.”About one in 200 trampoline injuries lead to permanent neurologic damage, according to the AAP, and such accidents are often caused by botched somersaults or flips.

Yet, for you parents who are already rolling your eyes and plan to let your kid get in some extra bouncy time today in parental retaliation, the AAP has recommendations for you too:

Those steps include checking that your insurance policy covers trampoline-related claims; using the mat one at a time, having effective padding around springs and frame, placing the trampoline on level ground, avoiding somersaults and flips and actively supervising kids.

Or you can just ban fun altogether.

(photo: Piotr Wawrzyniuk/ Shutterstock)