Paediatricians warn against backyard trampolines

    OTTAWA, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Trampolines should not be used in homes or
in playgrounds, according to a new position statement from the Canadian
Paediatric Society and the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine. Although they
are easily available and growing in popularity, the risks associated with
backyard trampolines are just too high, warns the statement.
    "Trampolines are not a safe recreational activity for children and youth.
They should not be used as play equipment in playgrounds, at home or at the
cottage, " says Toronto paediatrician Dr. John Philpott, co-author of the
    Trampoline injuries are on the rise, and the majority of them affect
children and youth. Between 1990 and 2001 in Canada, trampoline injuries
requiring hospitalization increased 56%.
    "We're concerned not only with the increase in trampoline-related
injuries, but the severity of those injuries," said Dr. Claire LeBlanc, chair
of the CPS Healthy Active Living and Sport Medicine Committee. "Children often
break bones or dislocate joints and frequently require surgery. Head injuries
are also common, and in some cases injuries to the neck or back can cause
paralysis or death." Many injuries occur when there is more than one child on
the trampoline at the same time, and when children are doing "tricks" such as
flips or somersaults, or when children fall off the trampoline, but the
majority of injuries still happen when a child slips or falls the wrong way on
the trampoline itself.
    "Even with safety measures in place, such as parental supervision,
spotters or net enclosures, there is no guarantee against injury. Children can
be injured by falling on the trampoline itself," said Dr. Lynne Warda, chair
of the CPS Injury Prevention Committee. "Trampolines can still be very

    Additional recommendations:

    - Trampolines should not be regarded as play equipment and should not be
      part of outdoor playgrounds.
    - Physicians should advocate for legislation to require warnings of
      trampoline dangers to be put on product labels.
    - More research on trampoline injuries sustained in supervised settings,
      such as schools, gym clubs and training program, should be conducted to
      assess the risk of injury.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national professional association,
representing more than 2,500 paediatricians, that advocates for the health
needs of children and youth. Its peer-review journal, Paediatrics & Child
Health, is published 10 times a year and circulated to 15,500 child health
care professionals

    The Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine is an organization of physicians
committed to excellence in the practice of medicine as it applies to all
aspects of physical activity.

    For parent information on trampoline use visit &

For further information:

For further information: Media: Jennifer Lefebvre, Canadian Paediatric
Society, (613) 526-9397, x 247,

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