A three-year-old boy in Florida broke his femur while jumping at a trampoline park, drawing national attention and raising questions on the safety of what is seen to be a common, safe children’s activity.
Kaitlin Hill of Tampa shared a Facebook post on Tuesday, saying that her son fell off while bouncing on a trampoline at an indoor park, USA Today reports. She wrote,
Every day is a struggle for his sweet 3 year old self as he adjusts to life in a hip spica cast for the next 6 weeks.
In her post, she detailed that there are parks in the country that allow toddlers to use their trampolines, despite the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ recommendations that children under six years old should not play on them.
Further, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against trampoline use for all children, because the enclosures and padding may give a false sense of security, when in fact these cannot prevent all injuries. If parents do allow their kids to play on trampolines, the group recommends adult supervision at all times, and for children to avoid doing flips or somersaults while jumping. They also advise single jumping to prevent accidents.
Armin Tehrany, an orthopedic surgeon and founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care, says young kids are especially vulnerable when it comes to trampoline injuries. The soft surface of a trampoline does not ensure safety, because the mechanics of jumping to higher heights and landing again and again puts plenty of stress on developing bones. He said, “Their bones are still growing. The pressure they put themselves under puts them at high risk for fracture and other injuries.”
Trampoline parks have been growing in popularity, which has correlated to an increase in trampoline park-related injuries. The number of emergency room visits for the same jumped over tenfold from 581 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014, according to Pediatrics.