You may want to think twice before taking your kids to the next trampoline park or inflatable bounce house party. Before you know it, innocent fun can result in sprains, strains, broken bones, or rarely, something potentially even more serious.
It happened recently to a 3-year-old boy in Florida, who fell and broke his femur after jumping on a trampoline with his parents right next to him. The accident left the boy in a body cast from the waist down. Another 10-year-old girl recently broke her nose after bumping heads with another child on a moon bounce.
Although these play sets can be fun to jump on, thousands of people are injured on trampolines and bounce houses each year. Common injuries include:
Parents should be aware of the risks these play sets can pose and how to minimize accidents.
Most trampoline injuries happen on home trampolines. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautioned against the use of home backyard trampolines for children:
“Trampolines may be popular and a fun way to get exercise, but there are safer ways to encourage your children to be physically active, such as playing catch, riding a bike (don't forget a bike helmet), or playing a team sport.”
The AAP recommends the following safety precautions if you choose to use a trampoline:
As with trampolines, there have been a series of reported accidents involving bounce houses, usually from falls and faulty installation.
One 2012 study found that from 1990 to 2010 more than 64,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency departments for inflatable bouncer-related injuries. This past April, five children were injured when a strong wind picked up two bounce houses at a church carnival in South Carolina—and this was not the first incident of kids getting hurt because a bounce house went airborne.
The AAP offers bounce house safety guidelines for parents:
Remember, within minutes, seemingly harmless fun can result in devastating consequences, even when parents are watching.
Learn more about children’s services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
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