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Children's Health

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Trampolines Not Worth the Risk, Doctor Group Says

Little Children More Likely to Get Hurt and Need a Visit to the Emergency Room

More Advice for Parents continued...

Ruth Borgen, MD, medical director of the pediatric emergency department at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, says the AAP's updated recommendations do not come as a surprise to her.

"We see broken bones and bruises, or kids who fall off the trampoline and break an arm," she says. "I tell my patients the recommendations from AAP -- that you're at high risk for injury. The little kids aren't as coordinated. Their heads are bigger than their bodies so they're more likely to land on their heads."

Borgen's advice for parents: "Don't send a 3-year-old on to a trampoline with a 10-year-old because the 10-year-old is going to fall on the 3-year-old and the 3-year-old will probably get hurt. Be cautious. Be smart. Don't live in a bubble, but be realistic. Explain to your child how to play safe."

Adam Vella, MD, director of pediatric emergency medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, says there are plenty of alternatives for kids to stay physically active and have fun in a safe way.

"Something like this should be avoided altogether," Vella says. "When a kid fractures or dislocates a limb, that's six to eight weeks of not being able to use that limb. I don't think there's really any way to make trampolines safe. There are certain things that are not worth the risk, and trampoline use we would put in that category. There are other forms of play, whether it's bike riding or soccer or whatever, you want to do with the child."

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