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Jump in trampoline injuries concerns health experts

Child on trampoline
Trampoline injuries account for more than 60,000 emergency room visits annually
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CNN's Rhonda Rowland reports
April 19, 1998
Web posted at: 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT)

From Medical Correspondent Rhonda Rowland

ALABASTER, Alabama (CNN) -- Trampolines are a common sight in backyards across America. And although most parents and children think of them as toys, health experts warn that they are a serious source of injuries.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics shows the number of trampoline injuries doubled during a six-year period, from 1990 to 1995, resulting in more than 60,000 hospital emergency room visits each year.

"Unlike other products, the number of injuries due to trampolines is doubling over a very short period of time," says Dr. Gary Smith of Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, who believes trampolines should only be used for supervised training in gymnastics.

"My advice to parents is, if you're considering buying a trampoline, don't. If you have one, get rid of it," Smith says.

Almost all of the injuries occurred on backyard trampolines. The injuries were usually sprains, strains or fractures. Younger children tended to hurt their arms, older children their legs. But some of the injuries were much more serious, including at least six deaths since 1990.

Fifteen-year-old Dane Bruner knows the danger. He broke his leg while jumping on a trampoline with a friend. As a result, the rules at his house have changed -- no more than one person jumping at a time.

Indeed, the study shows 75 percent of trampoline injuries happened when more than one person was jumping at the same time. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is asking the trampoline industry to put that statistic on its warning labels.


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