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Trampoline Troubles

Backyard trampolines are popular, but beware, medical experts say. Not surprisingly, along with the increasing popularity of these backyard "toys," trampoline injuries have also been on the rise.

And the injuries are serious, including fractures, concussions, and head injuries. Even more sobering are the serious spinal cord injuries and deaths that can occur with trampoline use. This rate is so alarming that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has taken a firm position: "The trampoline should never be used in home environments or in school physical education classes or outdoor settings or recreational settings."

People experience over 100,000 trampoline injuries per year in the U.S. alone, with most of these injuries occurring on backyard models.

The majority of injuries are to arms and legs. Back and neck injuries can cause serious neurological damage. The AAP warns parents that even with parental supervision and protective netting and padding, there is still a risk of injury.

Trampoline injuries occur when colliding with another person, landing improperly while jumping or doing stunts, falling or jumping off, or falling on the trampoline spring or frame. Although safety nets and shock-absorbing pads that cover the springs, hooks, and frame may help prevent some injuries, the potential for serious injury while using a trampoline remains. The AAP advises that parents never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines.