Drive through any residential neighborhood during the summer, and you will probably see kids bouncing up and down on trampolines in backyards everywhere. Trampolines are popular among children and teens, but they have a dismal safety record.
West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers are all too familiar with the serious injuries that can happen in a trampoline accident. If you’re a parent or caregiver, you might be surprised to learn just how often these accidents occur.
Trampolines Cause Millions of Emergency Room Visits
Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine studied emergency room visits among children between 2002 and 2011. Their study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, revealed that trampoline injuries accounted for 289,000 childhood emergency room visits for fractures alone.
When researchers looked at all ER visits for children during the same time period, they found that trampolines caused over one million injuries.
Trampolines may be fun, but the injuries they cause come with a hefty price tag. In the same study, researchers found that the total cost for trampoline-related emergency room visits tipped the scales at $1 billion. The medical costs for fractures alone were $400 million.
Although adults can and do get hurt jumping on trampolines, most accidents involve children. A whopping 92.7 percent happened to kids age 16 and under.
Researchers also studied what types of trampoline injuries tend to occur over and over again. Nearly 60 percent involved broken bones in the upper extremities; another 35.7 percent of injuries occurred in the lower extremities.
Common upper body injuries included fractures to the forearm and elbow. In the lower extremities, fractures in the tibia, fibula, and ankle were among the most common.
Pediatricians Say No to Trampolines
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been adamantly against backyard trampolines since 1999, when it began cautioning parents not to purchase them. The insurance industry is also solidly against trampolines, and many homeowners’ insurance policies feature exclusions stating the policy will not cover injuries caused by trampolines.
Common Trampoline Injuries
Most trampoline injuries happen at home, and most of the injury victims are children. Common trampoline injuries include:
- Head and back injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Concussion and traumatic brain injury
Anyone can get injured on a trampoline, but children are especially vulnerable. In recent years, indoor trampoline parks have become popular. Still, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends trampolines for kids only when they are actively training for a sport and then only under the supervision of a qualified coach.
Lower Your Child’s Risk of a Trampoline Injury
If you must have a trampoline, there are ways you can reduce the chances of an injury. The AAP recommends doing the following to make your trampoline as safe as possible:
- Never allow children to jump unattended
- Absolutely no flips or somersaults
- Just one jumper at a time
- Use a net enclosure
- Wrap exposed metal, such as springs and supports, in adequate padding
- Conduct regular inspections to ensure the trampoline is in good condition
- Replace worn, damaged, and ripped pieces
Even the most thorough safety measures can’t completely eliminate the risk of an accident. Health and safety experts say it’s best to skip the trampoline completely.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
As a parent, you want to keep your child safe from injury whenever you can. When a child is injured, parents understandably want answers. If your child has been hurt due to another person’s negligence, you and your child have important legal rights. Call a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.