Around 7 thousand kids went to the emergency room in 2014 for trampolines related injuries. A study published Monday in Pediatrics discovered that the number of trampoline parks has risen, and the risks for kids have increased as well.
Before trampoline parks got their popularity, the main preoccupation for pediatricians was house trampolines. But now there are 280 parks in the United States compared to the 40 parks that existed in 2011. Thus, trips to the ER have increased. The most concerning aspect is that trampoline parks will continue to expand over the country, and kids will be more vulnerable to fractures and dislocations, among other injuries.
The lead study author, Dr. Kathryn Kasmire, an emergency physician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, told the CBS that the main reason that made them study this phenomenon. What caught their attention was the severity of trampoline injuries that the team was seeing in the E.R. and how the number rose after new trampoline parks opened near the hospital’s area.
In 2010, the number of trampoline-related emergencies was under 600, but the recent study has determined that in 2014, almost 7 thousand children went to the hospital for playing in trampolines. The study found that the average age for trampoline accidents was 13, and most of the children that got hurt were boys.
Regarding injuries, most of them affected the legs, including strains and fractures, but severe traumas as spinal cord injuries, open fractures, and skull fractures were also caused by playing in trampolines.
To estimate the number of victims that were hurt using trampolines Dr. Kasmire and her team used hospital admission rates and they discovered that kids that came for trampoline parks were less likely to have head injuries, contrary to kids that played in trampolines at home. Nevertheless, children accidents in house trampolines did not increase significantly between 2010 and 2014.
Still, injuries that occurred at trampoline parks were concerning. Kasmire said that 1 out of every 11 kids that came to the E.R. due to trampolines had to be hospitalized. The study recorded among serious injuries 2 spinal cord traumas, a skull fracture, and open fractures.
Dr. Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt, who is an emergency medicine physician at Texas Children’s Hospital, stated that the rapid growth of trampoline parks was concerning and told CBS News that Texas children were not safe in those parks. She said that she sees a substantial number of kids getting hurt in trampolines, and they suffer from abrasions, lacerations, sprains, fractures, and head and neck injuries.
Leaming-Van Zandt urges parents to not loose site of their kids even when park employees are around to warned them about risky behaviors and activities. She thinks that is necessary for parents to read and understand all the risks that jumping on trampolines could cause to their children.
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It was noted in the study that Dr. Kasmire and her team could not determine the likelihood of being hurt at a park but stated that it is obvious that bringing a kid to a place full of trampolines is a dangerous activity for children.
But of kids are going to jump, pediatricians advise constant adult supervision, the use of protective padding on and around the trampolines areas, avoid doing flips and other acrobatics attempts, and to make sure that there is only one kid on the trampoline at a time.
There is an International Association of Trampoline Parks, and they have something to say
USA Today reports that the International Association of Trampoline Parks stated that they believed that there are more positive aspects regarding trampoline parks than negatives. The Association stated that they are taking precautions to keep kids safe and that is why they have been actively engaged in programs that seek to promote the safety and well-being of jumpers who goes to the parks.
The Association also said that the number of trampoline parks is expected to grow -it has been estimated that 5 or 6 parks open each month- and the Association expects that the number of kids injuries will rise as well.
Researchers want trampoline parks to use their data to make uniform safety guidelines for all trampoline parks. Every park has its set of security rules, limiting the number of jumpers per trampoline and forbidden flips and somersaults, but other parks allow them.
Dr. Kasmire said that trampoline parks have indeed done a good job to keep children safe and avoid accidents when they fall from the elastic surfaces. In trampoline parks, the floors are covered with a bouncy surface to prevent head injuries, although accidents between 2 trampolines are still an issue.
But Dr. Leaming-Van Zandt thinks these parks could do more to protect kids. She thinks that trampoline parks should perform regular safety and maintenance checks on all trampoline equipment to avoid the use of those that have expired warranties. She added that protective padding must frequently be inspected, CBS News reported.
Source: CBS News