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August 07, 2013
Trampolines not Worth the Risk, Says Loyola Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr. Teresa Cappello has Treated More than 100 Trampoline Injuries
MAYWOOD, Ill. - Less than two weeks after getting a new trampoline, 12-year-old Abbey Creamean broke her ankle when she landed awkwardly.
She wore a cast up to her mid-thigh. She had to cancel a dance recital, quit her softball team and give up swimming.
“A trampoline puts a child at risk for serious injuries,” Cappello said. “Kids sustain broken arms, legs and even break their necks, which can lead to paralysis. Just as you would not let your child jump into a shallow swimming pool, you should not let them jump on a trampoline.”
Cappello agrees with a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that says safety measures such as enclosure nets and padding have not substantially reduced the risk. “Therefore, the home use of trampolines is strongly discouraged,” the Academy statement said.
The AAP estimated that in 2009, there were nearly 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in the United States. And injuries peak during the summer months.
Cappello said trampolines might be worth the risk only when used for training purposes by gymnasts and divers, under careful supervision.
The Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America said trampolines and bounce houses are among the four main areas of preventable injuries in children. (The other areas are skateboards, ATVs and lawnmowers.)
Cappello said injuries typically occur when trampoline users land awkwardly. Common injuries include a broken ankle or a fracture of the tibia (shinbone) just below the knee. Users also can break their necks and become paralyzed.
Abbey was doing a forward flip when her foot grazed the enclosure net. She landed wrong and broke her right ankle.
Abbey had begged for years to get a trampoline. But now her mother says they are getting rid of it, and Abbey isn’t objecting.
“She doesn’t want it anymore,” said her mother, Renee Creamean. “She’s afraid of it now.”
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.