A warning about trampolines - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

A warning about trampolines

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Irina Spektor takes her children's play time seriously. She bought a trampoline for her three kids, but she made sure it was the safest one possible.

"It is 8 feet in diameter, so it allows enough room from kid to kid, for them not to be too close together," she said. "It also has a net so nobody can fall out."

But the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending against trampolines at home.

"They're unsafe. We see a high rate of fractures occurring as a result of using the trampoline recreationally," said Dr.Susannah Briskin, of University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

In 2009, there were about 98,000 trampoline injuries. Most of the problems occur when there are a bunch of jumpers at once, and it's usually the youngest kids-- children 5 and under-- who end up getting hurt.

Many injuries occur on the mat. The American Academy of Pediatrics says netting and pads provide little protection and do not significantly reduce the risk of serious injury.

Besides fractures, doctors also worry about head and neck injuries from somersaults and flips.

"That puts people at risk for catastrophic injuries like paralysis," Briskin said.

Doctors say if you still plan to use your trampoline, always have an adult present and only let one child jump at a time.

Spektor makes sure her children are supervised, but says there's no point in jumping solo.

"It won't be as fun," she said. "They enjoy it only when they have company."

She says as long as they're being watched and they're taught properly, it's a risk she's comfortable taking.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says its precautions also apply to all commercial trampoline parks. And homeowners with trampolines should check that their homeowners' insurance policy covers trampoline injury-related claims.

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