Summer cleaning should include trampolines

Yep, summer is sneaking up on us. This month’s students will be next month’s worry-free-ers and sleep-in-ers. And I am flat jealous.

The truth is, though, I’m closer to being one of their parents than to being one of them. Swimming pools. Snow cones. Syndicated mid-morning TV. Shorts. Sandals. They’re all yesterday’s relics for me.

So are trampolines. But, unlike the other things, I might be better off without them.

About 100,000 children are injured on trampolines every year according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That number doesn’t just include aspiring gymnasts and cheerleaders trying to perform 30-foot cartwheels in the gym, either. Most of the injuries involve kids horsing around in their own backyard.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons created trampoline safety guidelines because of this. They recommend, among other things, the need for supervision and protective padding and that only one person at a time should be on the trampoline.

The guidelines are cautious and sensible, but even following them might not keep your children from getting injured.

Study reveals trampolines aren’t safe, guidelines or not

Dr. Christine Ho, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Children’s, recently completed a study to determine if following the guidelines makes a difference. She compiled data from 300 patients who came to Children’s because of trampoline injuries during the last year.

“We unfortunately didn’t find that there was any difference in the severity or frequency of injuries between the children that followed the trampoline safety measures and the ones who didn’t,” she said.

Children still broke bones on trampolines with padding, and they still fell off the sides when they were being supervised.

Dr. Ho’s conclusion: “There is no such thing as a safe trampoline.”

So, it’s worth considering removing the trampoline from your backyard. It will give your children one less thing to get hurt on, and it will give you one less cause for worry.

Since most adults don’t get summer breaks, you deserve at least one thing to be carefree about.

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