Not jumping for joy: Pediatricians say trampolines at home are unsafe

Not jumping for joy: Pediatricians say trampolines at home are unsafe

Kids graduate from swing sets to trampolines, and they are a very popular backyard activity for many tweens. Just this weekend, my tween asked for a trampoline.

Unfortunately for her, today the American Academy of Pediatrics today announced that trampolines are unsafe and strongly cautioned against having them in back yards.

The AAP cited a study estimating that there were 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in the U.S. in 2009, resulting in 3,100 hospitalizations. Michele LaBotz, MD, FAAP, co-author of the updated policy statement. “Families need to know that many injuries occur on the mat itself, and current data do not appear to demonstrate that netting or padding significantly decrease the risk of injury.”

The statement also noted that "many injuries have occurred even with adult supervision" and noted that the spine injuries that can happen on a trampoline can result in "permanent and devastating consequences."  People have been paralyzed by injuries sustained on a trampoline.  Given that fact, perhaps it is no surprise that the pediatricians suggest that parents who ignore the recommendation and have a trampoline at home verify that their insurance policy covers trampoline injury-related claims.

he AAP recommends avoiding recreational trampoline use entirely. If a child, tween or teen needs to jump, the AAP recommends using a structured sports training program with appropriate supervision, coaching and safety measures already in place.

I admit that  I debated in my head this weekend whether a trampoline was a good choice for my tween.  Based on this AAP statement, the answer is a big, fat no.
We just got a backyard last year and it seems a little silly to get a swing set for a tween. I feel badly that we don't have fun items in our backyard, but I cannot image how she and I would feel if she was severely injured on a trampoline. I worry sometimes about being overly protective, but I'd rather err on that side. My tween will be disappointed, and possibly even mad, but she'll be safe.

Do you let your tween play on trampolines? Will this latest advice from pediatricians impact the way you and your child(ren) approach trampolines?

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