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Experts Offer Advice After Yankee Pitcher's Trampoline Injury

SUNDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- The potential dangers of trampolines were highlighted recently when professional baseball player Joba Chamberlain suffered a career-threatening ankle injury while jumping on a trampoline with his 5-year-old son, experts say.

The New York Yankees pitcher underwent surgery and will spend six weeks in a cast.

"Although trampolines can be fun for both kids and adults, they pose a high risk for injuries, especially when two or more people jump at one time," Dr. John Purvis, an orthopedic surgeon and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons spokesperson, said in an academy news release.

"Orthopedic surgeons recommend that trampolines not be used in home environments or in outdoor playgrounds because of the high risk of injuries," he added.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 92,000 people were seen in U.S. emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries in 2010.

The academy offers the following trampoline safety guidelines:

  • Trampolines should not be used for unsupervised recreational activity. Careful adult supervision and proper safety measures are required when trampolines are used for physical education, competitive gymnastics, diving training and similar activities.
  • Spotters should be present when a person is using a trampoline. People should not attempt somersaults or high-risk maneuvers without proper supervision and instruction, and such maneuvers should be done with protective equipment, such as a harness.
  • Only one person should use a trampoline at any time.
  • The trampoline jumping surface should be placed at ground level. The supporting bars, strings and surrounding landing surfaces should have adequate protective padding. Equipment should be checked regularly to ensure it is safe.
  • Safety net enclosures may offer a false sense of security. Most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.
  • Children under 6 years of age should not use trampolines. When older children use trampolines, they require competent adult supervision and instruction.
  • Remove ladders from trampolines after use in order to prevent unsupervised use by young children.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about children and trampolines.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, news release, March 26, 2012

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