Local trampoline injuries on the decline
As summer comes to a close, kids are hanging up their jump ropes and climbing down off the trampolines.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission hopes the latter is a permanent decision, however.
Last year, there were about 94,900 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with trampolines nationwide. And from 2000 to 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is aware of 22 deaths related to trampolines.
Injuries and deaths can be caused by colliding with another person, landing improperly, or falling.
Local hospitals show trampoline injuries are becoming fewer.
Charleston Area Medical Center saw seven patients in 2012 with trampoline-related injuries. So far this year, it has treated one, CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said.
Dr. Fred Pollock, an orthopedic trauma surgeon, said that in a recent review of trampoline injury statistics from CAMC's trauma registry, there were 74 patients, ages 2 to 38, with serious injuries from trampolines that required hospitalization and/or surgery from 2005 to 2011.
"This averages one hospitalization per month. Sixty-seven of these involved fractures. One-third were 2- to 5-year-olds, and over half were 10 years old or younger," he said.
"April and May were the most common months for injuries, but hospitalizations have occurred in every month except February."
Pollock said trampolines go in and out of style, but that since 1977 the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended against buying a trampoline for the home.
He said the American Academy of Pediatrics has tried to publicize the dangers.
"Nationally the injury rate has been decreasing probably because of lower sales of home trampolines," he said.
Pollock recommends that all trampoline activity should be supervised by an adult and that only one person should be on the trampoline at a time.
"The fun of the little kid 'stealing the bounce' from the bigger kid can really launch the child dangerously high. In such a situation or a collision, it is always the smaller child who gets hurt," he said.
He also said to take away the ladder so little kids can't climb up, no stunts or somersaults, avoid jumping close to the springs and look into safety pads on the frame.
His No. 1 safety rule for home trampolines?
"Don't get one."