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Pediatricians say home trampolines too risky

September 25, 2012|By Mary MacVean
  • Trampoline became an Olympic sport in 2000.
Trampoline became an Olympic sport in 2000. (AFP / Getty Images )

The Summer London Olympics may have inspired the bouncier among its viewers to take to the trampoline, but parents should not allow its use at home, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

In an article Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the pediatricians group “strongly discouraged” the use of home trampolines. The academy updated previous, similar statements because of the growth of trampoline as a competitive sport and the popularity of indoor trampoline parks.

Injury rates at those parks are unknown but should be monitored, the journal article says. The academy did not oppose trampolines when under supervision in a structured program.

Trampoline injury rates have steadily declined since 2004, the authors say. In 2009, there were an estimated 98,000 injuries -- mostly sprains, bruises or other soft-tissue injuries, the article says. About 3,100 of them led to hospitalization.

About 75% of injuries occur when there are several people jumping at once, the authors say.

For people who use a home trampoline, the academy recommends “active” adult supervision -- not simply the presence of an adult.

The International Trampoline Industry Assn. and the American Society of Testing and Materials Trampoline Subcommittee in 1999 issued recommendations to ensure user safety, including padding on frames and springs and excluding ladders in packaging to help prevent young children from climbing onto the trampoline.

In 1945, the competitive gymnast George Nissen patented the modern trampoline, initially to train acrobats and gymnasts and later to train military aviators. Trampoline was accepted as an Olympic sport in 2000. They are also used in training for diving and  other sports.

mary.macvean@latimes.com

@mmacvean on Twitter

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