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The Dangers of Trampolines

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CLEVELAND, OH (CCNS) -- Trampolines are popular among kids and adults - but they can be dangerous. From 2002 to 2011 trampoline injuries contributed to more than 1 million emergency department visits in the United States.

With an influx of indoor trampoline parks springing up nationwide, trampoline-related injuries may continue to soar.

Trampolines not advised

Whether kids are supervised at an indoor park or jumping on a trampoline in the backyard, there's risk for significant injury and they are not advised for play.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests they should never be used unless they are being supervised in training for a sport like diving or gymnastics.

As the weather begins to break, pediatric orthopedists see an increase in fractures.

"Kids have been cooped up all winter along," pediatric orthopedic specialist Ryan Goodwin, M.D., Cleveland Clinic, says. "We see trampoline and bicycle fracture-rates rise."

Dr. Goodwin has treated trampoline injuries where bones are broken so badly that they need emergency surgical repair. In addition to fractures, concussions, head & neck injuries, sprains and strains are also common.

A recent study found that nearly 100,000 trampoline-related injuries occurred in 2009 among children. What's more, three-quarters of all trampoline injuries occur when multiple kids are jumping at one time.

A 2012 AAP report notes that botched somersaults and flips are often the cause of cervical spine injuries with permanent injury. Most trampoline injuries occur when multiple kids are jumping at once and young children are at greatest risk for injury. Even though recreational use of trampolines is not recommended, it's still common.

"Jumping on a trampoline is physical exercise, and parents should limit screen time," Dr. Goodwin says. "But there are much safer forms of outdoor physical activity."

Trampoline safety

If you do have a trampoline there are some safety rules that should be followed at all times:

- Only allow one person to jump at a time
- Make sure the springs are covered
- Install a safety net around the perimeter of the trampoline
- Ensure the trampoline is set on level ground
- Avoid somersaults or flips
- Provide adult supervision at all times

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