Trampoline for Christmas? Know this before you buy…

With Christmas less than three weeks away, there are many parents facing a child’s request for a backyard trampoline. Before you run out to buy a trampoline, please understand the real danger that is involved.

For over two decades, pediatric physicians have warned of the dangers related to backyard trampolines. A recent study by the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics has put an exclamation point on their previous warnings.

According to the study, from 2002 to 2011, more than 1 million people were seen by Emergency Room (ER) physicians for trampoline related injuries. Almost 300,000 of those ER visits involved broken bones. The total medical cost over 10 years, related to trampoline injuries, was over $1 billion.

The average age for trampoline related fractures was 9.5 years old. 92.7% of the fractures related to trampoline use happened to children 16 years old and younger.

59.9% of the fractures were upper extremity, 35.7% were lower extremity, 4.4% were spine fractures, 1% were skull/face fractures and 2.9% involved rib/sternum fractures.

Outside of fractures, concussions are a common injury seen with trampoline use. These concussions commonly occur when the child’s head hits the side rail, hits the ground or collides with another child.

Some parents believe that trampolines with the side safety nets are inherently safer. Injury statistics don’t agree. It’s true that safety nets might keep a child from falling off of the trampoline. They don’t protect against children or parents breaking the first rule of trampoline safety, only one child bouncing at a time. The laws of physics dictate that whatever goes up must come down. When a trampoline is involved, those objects (children) are moving up and down with tremendous force. Two moving objects colliding with tremendous force result in broken bodies.

If jumping on a trampoline by itself weren’t dangerous enough, there’s something else to consider, product safety. As parents, you’re expected to trust your child’s safety to the manufacturers of these products. You should consider that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) lists 11 recalls for defective trampolines or trampoline related safety products since 1999. These recalls account for 1.6 million defective trampolines or trampoline safety nets.

Trampolines are very popular with children and despite the dangers parents will continue to purchase them. If you are considering a trampoline for your backyard, please follow the safety guidelines included with the trampoline. Also, check the CPSC website to ensure that your trampoline hasn’t been recalled or associated with a higher than normal rate of injury.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured on a trampoline, the personal injury lawyers of Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. may be able to help. Our law firm offers no cost initial consultations. We also handle all injury cases on a contingency basis. This means you owe no attorney’s fees unless we settle your case or win a favorable verdict in court. Call or email our attorneys today, they’re waiting to help you.

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