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Trampoline Safety

I love to hear stories about how parents motivate their children and others to get physically active. The benefits of moving around and exercising seem to be endless. Typical physical activities include walking and running, working in the garden, or if the weather permits, swimming. We engage in other physical activity too. The not so typical may include inline skating, jumping rope, and jumping on a trampoline.

Recently, my twelve-year-old grandson shared with me the joys of bouncing on a trampoline with his cousins. He was excited as he informed me of how much fun he had. I asked him about safety, and he thoughtfully mentioned that it might be an issue, especially for his younger cousins.

My grandson is not the only one who thinks the safety of trampolines might be a problem. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons agrees with my grandson. They warn parents of young children about the dangers of trampolines. They also report that children younger than six years old may not have the coordination skills fully developed. Their response time required to avoid injury may also be underdeveloped.

In 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported there were more than 295,000 treated injuries associated with the trampoline. The most common injuries include sprained ankles and fractures, but other injuries can occur too.

If jumping on the trampoline is a favorite pastime, then keep the following in mind to help prevent injuries.

1. If there is a group of children, let each of them take turns. This practice will help avoid bumping into each other.

2. Children younger than six years old should not jump on the trampoline.

3. Evaluate equipment for safety. Make sure all parts are connected properly and working. Also, make sure the trampoline is on level ground.

4. Have an adult present at all times.

5. Before jumping, remind jumpers of the safety rules.

6. Instruct jumpers to refrain from high-risk moves on the trampoline.

Remember to think safety for all sports and physical activities including the trampoline.

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

is a dietitian in Southern California.

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