You want your kids to exercise. But, facing stiff competition from 250 cable channels of mind-numbing delight, you're at a real disadvantage. Then, thumbing through the Sunday paper, you stumble across the answer. The local sporting goods store has a big sale this weekend - on trampolines. So, you hop out of your recliner and bounce on down.
And, you're not alone. In 2004, 1.2 million trampolines were sold. But, is this really the best way - or even a good way - for kids to get their exercise?
Not according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Based on their review of safety issues, the AAP recommends trampolines, "never be used in the home environment, in routine physical education classes, or in outdoor playgrounds." Seems a bit harsh, don't you think?
Consider the findings from Rhode Island Hospital's recent study. They find trampoline injuries are on the rise. Annual visits to the emergency room for treatment now number over 88,000 - more than double the number of visits in the 1990s. The most frequent injuries are soft tissue (sprains), followed by fractures and dislocations. Ouch! Kids between 5 and 12 - the age group having the most fun (?) - represent 71% of those injured.
So, while the goal of getting your children to exercise is fabulous, maybe the trampoline is not the way to go. Unless, of course, you have a new health care plan you can't wait to try out...