Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner
In a recently-published policy statement by the America Academy of Pediatrics, recreational home use of trampolines is not advised. In the October, 2012 policy statement by AAP, "Trampoline Safety in Childhood and Adolescence", pediatricians are provided guidelines on the patterns of injury with trampoline use, the effectiveness of current safety measures, and unique injuries associated with trampoline use. This policy statement is consistent with previous statements of 1999 and 2006, discouraging recreational trampoline use. In 2009, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) estimated almost 98,000 trampoline injuries nationwide, with 3,100 hospitalizations. Predictably, the injury rates for children were higher than those for adults.
“Pediatricians need to actively discourage recreational trampoline use,” said Michele LaBotz, MD, FAAP, co-author of the updated policy statement. “Families need to know that many injuries occur on the mat itself, and current data do not appear to demonstrate that netting or padding significantly decrease the risk of injury.”
Common injuries for all age groups include sprains, strains and contusions. For children under five, 48% of trampoline injuries resulted in fractures or dislocations. Most injuries occur with multiple people jumping on the mat and many occur even with adult supervision.
Key recommendations included in the report for pediatricians and parents include:
- "Pediatricians should advise parents and children against recreational trampoline use.
- Current data on netting and other safety equipment indicates no reduction in injury rates.
- Failed attempts at somersaults and flips frequently cause cervical spine injuries, resulting in permanent and devastating consequences.
- Homeowners with a trampoline should verify that their insurance covers trampoline injury-related claims.
- Rules and regulations for trampoline parks may not be consistent with the AAP guidelines.
- Trampolines used for a structured sports training program should always have appropriate supervision, coaching, and safety measures in place."
Parents should educate themselves and their children about trampoline use before it's too late.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer of the Year" (2011). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against train, truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, it is believed, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers (2012 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2012)-- national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.