Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Stresses Trampoline Safety
ALBANY, N.Y., August 14, 2014 — While the popularity of trampolines is on the rise, the dangers associated with them can present severe risks to children, according to Prerana Patel, M.D., the region’s only fellowship-trained pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.
“Without proper safety practices in place, children jumping on trampolines are at significant risk for injuries that can range from sprains and fractures to severe neck injuries and paralysis,” said Dr. Patel. “Commercial trampoline parks are the new big thing, but parents have to carefully note the safety practices employed at these establishments and watch their kids to ensure their safety.”
According to a study conducted by the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, more than 1 million people visited emergency departments for trampoline-related injuries between 2002 and 2011, and nearly 300,000 of those injuries were for broken bones.
Although Dr. Patel highly recommends that children avoid trampolines completely to prevent injuries, she offers these tips to ensure a safer trampoline experience for your child:
• No more than one child on the trampoline at a time. If more than one child is jumping, the smaller one is more likely to be bounced off and can suffer significant injury. Playing “popcorn” is very likely to cause an injury.
• No child under the age of six should be placed on a trampoline.
• The safest placement of a trampoline is in the ground (similar to a below-ground swimming pool). Netting does not protect well and can cause an injury if a child catches a limb in the material. Netting is better than no protection, but it is not the safest option.
• No one should distract a child jumping on a trampoline by throwing objects at the child or interfering with the jumps.
“Being aware of the risks associated with trampolines and then taking simple safety precautions will help keep children safe as the summer comes to a close and a new school year begins,” Dr. Patel said.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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