ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 9, 2020)—The first days of summer mean warmer temperatures and plenty of sunlight for outdoor play. However, for adolescents and young adults alike, additional risks for injury are present, especially as states’ sheltering in place requirements have limited activity in recent months. With media reporting an increase in sales of outdoor toys such as trampolines and inflatable toys because of COVID-19, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is reminding parents to encourage families to think before they bounce.
“Cancelled vacations and sports, school closures, and more time at home have led to the high demand for fun items – like trampolines – to the point that some have been sold out,” said Corinna Franklin, MD, FAAOS, orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson. “Whether you’re pulling inflatable bouncers from the shed for the first time this season or unboxing new outdoor toys for the first time ever, it’s important to understand the risks they can pose. Make sure toys and equipment are appropriate for your child’s age, height, and weight and always build equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”
In a recent blog post on OrthoInfo.org, a patient education website for bone and joint health information, Dr. Franklin notes that the AAOS advises against trampoline use as they pose a significant safety risk and have a high rate of injury, as highlighted in the AAOS’ position statement, “Trampolines and Trampoline Safety.” According to U.S. News and World Report, trampoline incidents that have resulted in a broken bones have risen four percent each year from 2008 to 2017.
If you’re still interested in having a trampoline for recreational activities, the AAOS recommends that parents and caregivers ensure the following to minimize the potential for severe injuries:
- Do not allow children younger than 6 years of age to use trampolines.
- Provide careful adult supervision, proper safety measures and instruction when trampolines are used for physical education, competitive gymnastics, diving training, and other similar activities.
- Allow only one participant at a time to use a trampoline.
- Ensure that spotters are present when participants are jumping. Somersaults or high-risk maneuvers should be avoided without proper supervision and instruction; these maneuvers should be attempted only with proper use of protective equipment, such as a harness.
- Place the trampoline-jumping surface at ground level.
- Ensure that supporting bars, strings, and surrounding landing surfaces have adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed.
- Regularly check equipment for safety conditions; discard worn or damaged equipment if replacement parts are unavailable.
- Do not rely on safety net enclosures for injury prevention; most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.
- Remove trampoline ladders after use to prevent unsupervised access by young children.
The most important safety consideration is that they should be used by only one person at a time, states Dr. Franklin. “Most injuries occur when two or more people are using the trampoline simultaneously.”
For more information, visit OrthoInfo.org. To schedule an interview with an AAOS expert to learn more about common orthopaedic diagnosis, treatment and injury prevention during today’s challenging times, email email@example.com.
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For orthopaedic surgeons, physician assistants, nurses and other healthcare staff, OrthoInfo is a valuable tool in aiding and enhancing patient care. The site offers more than 400 articles, animations, and videos on a variety of topics—from arthritis and sports injuries, to preparing for surgery, pain management, and recovery—that can be viewed on a laptop, phone or tablet during the office visit. Staff can also email specific OrthoInfo links, or direct patients and caregivers to the website, for more information.
All OrthoInfo articles and resources are rigorously reviewed by orthopaedic surgeons, ensuring that the content is accurate and reflective of the latest orthopaedic research, and treatment and care standards. Many of the articles and resources are also available in Spanish.
About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level to best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal health care issues and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.
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