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WASHINGTON (CBS WASHINGTON) – Pediatricians are asking parents to keep their children off trampolines.
The new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updates recommendations from 1999, which caused manufacturers to add safety features to the products in an attempt to mitigate the risks.
Nearly 100,000 injuries are reported in emergency departments each year from the flexible jumping mats.
“As best we can tell, the addition of safety nets and padding has actually not changed the injuries we have seen,” said Dr. Susannah Briskin, a sports medicine specialist who helped draft the new statement.
It’s estimated that the number of trampoline injuries nationwide has been dropping – from 111,851 cases treated at ERs in 2004, to 97,908 in 2009. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the devices have become any less dangerous, Briskin told Reuters Health.
According to the new statement, published in the journal Pediatrics, three-quarters of injuries happen when more than one person are jumping at the same time, often when a small kid is bouncing with a heavier playmate.
The impact of the bigger kid will thrust the smaller one high into the air, upping the chances of a rough landing, particularly if the kid comes down at an awkward point.
“Most of the injuries actually occur on the mat itself,” said Briskin, adding that she sees a lot of ankles sprains and fractures in her clinic, especially the young kids.
About one in 200 trampoline injuries lead to permanent neurologic damage, according to the AAP, and such accidents are often caused by botched somersaults or flips.
The new statement is in line with advice from other medical societies, which also discourage recreational use of trampolines.