With summertime fast approaching, many parents are on the lookout for safe, fun activities to keep their children busy and active during the long summer months ahead. Although backyard trampolines may seem like the perfect solution for kids with a seemingly endless supply of energy, the American Academy of Pediatrics has officially discouraged children and their parents from allowing the use of backyard trampolines since 1977. The risk of serious injuries from using trampolines are real, costly and often devastating. Children who use trampolines don’t just risk broken bones or simple sprains; they are at a significant risk for serious fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, permanent paralysis and even death.
American Academy of Pediatric Recommendations for Trampoline Use
Current AAP guidelines include the following recommendations for parents and pediatricians regarding the use of trampolines:
- Pediatricians should advise parents and children against using trampolines for recreational purposes.
- According to current studies/data, netting and other safety equipment does not reduce injury rates.
- Trampoline parks may not have rules or guidelines consistent with AAP suggestions for safety.
- Trampolines used in a sports program should always be used with proper adult supervision, be supervised by trained staff and have appropriate safety measures in place designed to keep children safe.
- Homeowners with trampolines should verify that their homeowners insurance policies cover trampoline related injuries.
- Failed attempts at somersaults, flips or other tricks/maneuvers on trampolines frequently cause serious injuries (such as cervical spine injuries and traumatic brain injuries) which can result in serious and permanent injuries.
Injuries sustained on trampolines can be very serious, costly and life threatening. More than one million people visited emergency rooms for trampoline injuries between 2002 and 2001. According to a study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, the cost for ER visits due to trampoline injuries was $1 billion dollars, and $400 million dollars for fractures alone. Children under the age of 16 are far more likely to be injured on a trampoline; studies show that almost 93 percent of ER visits for trampoline injuries occurred in children 16 years of age and younger.
Unfortunately, if you have been injured in a trampoline accident, the long term costs associated with your care can easily skyrocket. Our personal injury attorneys know that insurance companies may not handle your claim with the care it deserves. That’s why we’re here to answer your questions and help you cut through the red tape- if you have been injured in a trampoline accident, please call our experienced personal injury attorneys. We specialize in helping families understand their rights following a serious injury, and can help you get the compensation you deserve following an accident.
Types of Trampoline Injuries
Recent studies provided the following statistics and information about injuries sustained in trampoline accidents:
- Nearly 60 percent of broken bones sustained in trampoline accidents were in the upper extremities, while approximately 36 percent were in the lower extremities.
- The most common upper extremity fracture was the forearm and elbow. The most common lower extremity fracture was the tibia/fibula and the ankle.
- Most fractures (95 percent) occur on home trampolines rather than at trampoline parks.
- 75 percent of trampoline injuries occur when more than one child is jumping on the trampoline at the same time.
- The smallest person on the trampoline is at greatest risk for injury.
- Studies indicate that trampoline accidents are second to football in terms of sports which cause permanent paralysis.
Trampoline Safety Guidelines
The American Academy of Pediatrics officially discourages the use of home trampolines. However, if parents choose to allow their children to play on trampolines, the AAP suggest the following safety rules:
- Discourage tricks, somersaults (which helps to prevent head/ neck injuries and traumatic brain injuries).
- Remove ladders from trampolines so small children can’t climb onto trampolines without proper adult supervision. Adults should supervise children on trampolines.
- Safety pads on trampoline frames can help soften falls and prevent some injuries.
- Adults should inspect trampolines to make sure there are no broken springs, holes, etc. According to trampoline manufacturers, trampolines last an average of seven years. After that, trampolines may fall into disrepair and be even more dangerous.
The personal injury attorneys at Hardy, Wolf and Downing have over 35 years experience with personal injury law. We can help your family understand your rights following a trampoline accident. Our Lewiston, Portland and downtown Portland law offices are here to answer your questions, and will put our expertise and experience in the field of personal injury law to work for your family. If you have been injured in a trampoline accident, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hardy, Wolf and Downing to schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
Our personal injury attorneys provide our blog as a service to our clients. They are meant to be purely informational. If you or a loved one has been in a trampoline accident and would like a free consultation with a personal injury attorney, please call our firm today at 1-800-INJURED to start understanding your legal rights.