I recently read an article on Huffington Post about a new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stating that kids should not jump on trampoline’s because its not safe. Now I am sure they have looked at the numbers and seen how many injuries have occurred (its actually down in 2009 from 2004 according to the article) but have they looked at the other factors? How many of those injuries were on a trampoline that was being used correctly? How many had multiple kids on the trampoline, maybe even big and little kids together? How many had the proper safety equipment that was recommended? All of those factors can influence the information.
I’m not saying that there is no risk for injury if kids are being supervised and the equipment is being used properly but the risk most likely decreases. (I hate to say it but as a child I hurt myself plenty of times when playing while my feet were planted on the ground) When used properly trampolines can provide kids with cardiovascular exercise, strengthening for their muscles, sensory input, and the ability to explore movement. With all the complaints of obesity in our youth and their overall sedentary lifestyle why take away something that when used properly can be fun and a great way for exercise?
I have talked about this before but I thought this article brought up an opportunity to reiterate the need for kids to have a chance to get sensory exploration and movement in their environment while engaging in active play. How many school playgrounds have swings these days? Or when was the last time you saw a merry-go-round on a playground.
Safety is extremely important but it is also important to let kids play and explore. With proper supervision and use many ‘dangerous’ activities can actually have much lower risk. (I made a similar point about the Bumbo chair recall)
What are your thoughts on this topic?