We always tell our kids (but they don't always follow) not to jump up and down down on the bed. We worry about the wear and tear of the furniture, of course, but we know how enthusiastic kids can be an accident waiting to happen. The children's chant "5 little monkeys" come to mind. They can fall and hit their head or break a bone. We should also keep this in mind when our toddlers insist on using the trampoline.
Trampolines are fun, but we need to keep in mind that toddlers and preschoolers under the age of 6 should not be allowed on it. That is what Kaitlin Hill, a mom from Florida, painfully discovered when she and her husband brought their 3-year-old son, Colton to an indoor trampoline park.
Katilin wrote that her son was "innocently jumping" while she and her husband were bouncing on the trampoline squares surrounding him.
"Colton fell and broke his femur, the strongest bone in his body, while innocently jumping alongside his dad and I," she wrote. The toddler needed a hip and leg cast for six whole weeks. (Kaitlin's original post on her Facebook personal profile has been taken down, but Facebook page Love What Matters also shared Katilin's post to prevent other kids and parents experiencing the same fate.)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) explain that children under age 6 have fragile and still developing bones that may not be able to withstand the repetitive pressure from jumping. Using pads does not help either. Falls also present a potential damage to the head or neck, which can lead to permanent paralysis or even death.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stated that when more than one person is jumping, accidents that result in sprains, strains, and broken bones, as well as head and neck injuries and concussions, can easily occur. In 2014, there were 104,691 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with trampolines in the U.S. and at least 22 reported deaths from 2000 to 2009.
"Our lives have been turned upside down since Colton's accident, and every day is a struggle for his sweet three-year-old as he adjusts to life in a cast,” the Kaitlin wrote. “We hope by sharing his story it will prevent a child and their family from experiencing the trauma and heartbreak associated with trampoline injuries in young children."
Bethany Evans, executive vice president of International Association of Trampoline Parks, told The Washington Post that, in general, the nonprofit trade association advocates that trampoline parks adhere to industry standards. Court monitors should be stationed at each trampoline in use, no more than one person is allowed on one trampoline, and a person should never attempt any jumping activity outside his or her skill set.
Trampoline parks here in the Philippines often start every session with a video on safety precautions. We should listen and obey when court monitors tell us what we're attempting to do is dangerous or if an area if off limits. Parents, we should also learn how to recognize a hazard to give our child a heads-up.
Most of the time, trampoline related-injuries are caused by wrong landings. If you plan on heading out to a trampoline park, here are some trampoline safety precautions for you and your child to observe so that you may avoid any injury:
Before jumping, remove all sharp and loose objects from the body. This includes jewelry, hats, glasses, coins and keys. Wear grip socks to prevent yourselves from slipping.
Always supervise your child as they jump on their own trampoline.
Do not hold your kid's hand while you're jumping, this may cause shoulder injuries.
While jumping, always land on two feet or the bum. Never land on one foot for you could get sprained.
Always remember that only one jumper on the trampoline at a time. Double bouncing may end up to both of you injured.
No laying down nor sitting down on the trampoline.
Never aim for someone else's trampoline even if you don't plan on jumping in it.
No running on the mats as the trampolines in outdoor parks have protective padding as they tend to cover the steel frame.