Why I'm seriously considering getting rid of my kids' trampoline
The instructions that came with the small trampoline we have in our backyard state the equipment is not safe for children under 3 years of age. But trying to get my son, who was 2 years old when we got it, to understand that was no easy task. Even so, I made sure he played on it by himself and under my or my husband's supervision at all times. Once he turned 3, though, I kind of relaxed a bit and he's now allowed to jump on it together with his sister.
But after reading that pediatricians are strongly recommending kids shouldn't use trampolines because of the risks they pose, I'm starting to wonder if I should get rid of ours altogether.
I wasn't really aware of the statistics, but according to the updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, it turns out that those at a higher risk of fractures and dislocations are kids under the age of 5 who account for almost half of these types of injuries.
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The statement also noted that falls from trampolines cause between 27 and 39 percent of the injuries and can sometimes be catastrophic. The rest of the injuries are caused by failed attempts at somersaults and flips, which my daughter is famous for ever since I enrolled her in a gymnastics class. The scariest part about these is that they usually cause spine injuries, which can have devastating consequences that can't be reversed.
Unfortunately, the safety precautions, including nets and padding, don't seem to do much to keep children injury-free, according to the APA's report, which means that just because my kids' trampoline is equipped with both of those, they're not exempt from getting injured.
I guess, up until now, we've been pretty lucky, but I'm thinking I'll need to make a decision about what to do with one of my children's favorite pastimes.
Image via guinness_duck/flickr