Posted at: 09/24/2012 5:34 PM
| Updated at: 09/24/2012 5:59 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
CLIFTON PARK - Eight-year-old Annabelle loves doing flips and cartwheels on her backyard trampoline. She thinks it's even more fun when friends join her on the mat, as long as she follows her parent's rules.
"There can't be more than 300 pounds on the trampoline and we can't have too many kids. And we can only have one kid do tricks at once," she said. Her mother also supervises Annabelle when she's on the trampoline.
But even precautions like those aren't enough, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report cautioned families strongly against trampolines for recreational use, especially for children.
The Academy found that sprains, strains and contusions are common injuries, and that 75% of them occur when multiple people are jumping at once.
39% of injuries come from falls, which researchers said can have "catastrophic" consequences.
"There are many safe ways to have fun that don't involve fractures of the legs and arms and heads and necks and it can be serious and cause paralysis," said Dr. Janice Pride-Boone, of Seton Health Pediatric Practices.
Pride-Boone said she's treated countless injuries from trampoline accidents in her pediatric practice. Like the researchers, she agreed that even the nets and padding surrounding trampolines, don't significantly decrease the risks, because most injuries occur on the mats.
"Unless you're willing to increase liability coverage and be able to accept that risk that your child could be injured in he quest to have fun. It's not the thing to do. There are so many things to do with your children and trampolines are not one of them," Dr. Pride-Boone said.
But Andrew Lanesey, a Wynantskill resident who recently bought his children a trampoline, said it's frustrating to hear yet another safety warning. He planned to make his own judgment.
"You just have to look at every situation and make your best decision as a parent. My kids are okay with this or not okay," he said.
The Academy did note that injury rates have been decreasing over the last eight years, but said that there were still 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in 2009 nationwide.
The report cautioned that the smallest children, age five or younger, are at greatest risk.