A new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics has ruled that trampolines, while fun, present a great risk to children. Many parents have purchased nets to surround their trampolines, which the AAP has stated do not provide an increase in safety.
According to the study from the AAP, there were 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in the United States in 2009 alone. The trampoline has been incredibly popular with younger children, who often play or jump on it with their friends. That is one of the biggest risks, as children can slam into one other or cause other injuries by bouncing together.
Approximately 75 percent of all trampoline accidents occur when multiple people are jumping, with fractures and dislocations occurring in 48 percent of children under the age of 5. Experts have noted that added padding and safety features such as nets do not provide that much protection and recommend that kids simply be kept off the trampoline altogether.
"Unfortunately, the very forces that make trampoline use fun for many children also lead to unique injury mechanisms and patterns of injury," the study reads. The trampoline may be used in athletics, as long as there is "appropriate coaching, supervision and safety measures in place."
"A lot of people just don't recognize the intrinsic risks or even the liability associated with having a recreational trampoline," Michele Labotz, one of the study's co-authors, wrote. Many homeowners may have to pay more for insurance if they own a trampoline, while others may be banned from having one by their insurance companies.
The public has had mixed reviews to the study's judgment, with the majority railing against the AAP and supporting trampoline play.
"I'd rather my child play on a trampoline than ride a bike," noted USA Today reader Keith Retherford. "Anything that you do has intrinsic dangers. I bet I spent hundreds of hours on them and never once got hurt. If you don't let them jump on a trampoline then definitely don't let them play any sports."
"Life is dangerous. It is full of risks. As a parent, I see my job as helping my kids learn to navigate risk and danger, not to fully avoid it. When the kid turns 16 he can get a driver's license. That is a pretty dangerous machine," added Time reader Flow555.