Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Trouble With Trampolines

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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?

...Maybe not.

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...

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To read more about the benefits of children exercising, see this from KidsHealth.


Blogger DrGwenn said...

This has actually been a very big problem in the pediatric world and parents just don't seem to want to listen. Thanks for getting the word out! As a pediatrician and journalist, I wrote an article on this very topic just last month. Here's the link for those interested:

To Bounce Or Not To Bounce

Dr. Gwenn

9:29 AM  
Blogger tim said...

Dr. Gwenn:

Thanks for stopping by and for providing the link to your article. I encourage folks to give it a serious read.

Let's hope that parents get the message and find safer ways for their children to exercise.

Have a great day,


10:31 AM  
Blogger Sylvia C. said...

This is a tough pill to swallow. I always LOVED to bounce around. But I can certainly believe that it is not safe. Too bad.

I guess we need to come up with another exercise that is just as thrilling!

Thanks, Tim!

Sylvia C.

12:34 PM  
Blogger tim said...

Sylvia C:

I am not surprised! You even have that natural bounce in your step - it matches the bounce in your personality and outlook quite well.

OK - I'll be interested to hear what new and thrilling exercise you develop...

Thanks for stopping by,


2:06 PM  

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