Whats the deal with trampolines?
Nowadays, a popular back garden feature are recreational trampolines. All the kids from the road scramble for their turn! We all encourage children to get outside more often and get more fresh air. However, recommendations have come from The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discouraging the use of trampolines at home. Through my own work, I have seen several cases of children coming to me for care after a trampoline accident. Enough so, that I wanted to write a post about it.
The very forces that make trampoline use fun for so many kids, unfortunately also lead to unique types of injury. The risk of broken bones, head, neck and spine injuries makes trampolining suitable only for organised training settings. In the home environment, injuries usually occur when there are several children using the trampoline at once. In this case usually the smallest or youngest is most likely to be injured.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) says children under six should not be allowed on trampolines less than 20in high or with a diameter of more than 10ft. Children under this age are lighter and have less coordination to help themselves maintain balance and control landings. Therefore they are more likely be hurt.
Another more obvious risk are falls from the trampoline. Netting is available on many trampolines for home use. However according to AAP research, this has not had a hugely positive impact on reducing accidents and injuries. In many cases, the netting has simply not been assembled properly.
How can I keep my kids safe?
While the current recommendations are strongly advising against home use of trampolines, for families that persist on home use, here are a few pointers.
Make sure the trampoline is on level ground and the surrounding area is clear of any objects the children could fall on.
Regularly check that the trampoline and the protective padding is in good condition.
Somersaults and back flips should be banned by supervising adults.
One person on the mat at a time.
Active supervision by adults, with the adult responsible happy to enforce the above rules.
All childhood play carries some level of risk, children learn through their little tumbles here and there. However, the advice on trampolines in particular is clear. If you wish to read the research in full, click here for a pdf file.
If your little one is complaining of aches and pains after a tumble, hands-on gentle care at NBH make be suitable for them. Supporting their recovery and allowing them to live a happier, healthy life. Contact the clinic here or on 087 1815007 to arrange your first visit with your child.