Outdoor Fitness Equipment Safety – What Policies Should Be Put In Place

Among the many equipment used for outdoor fitness activities, perhaps the trampoline is one of those with significant safety issues especially among children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) risks like falling off a trampoline or using a trampoline incorrectly can lead to injuries like strains, sprains, fractures and potentially serious head and neck injuries. The possibility is also very likely that AAP are actually recommending that trampolines should never be used at home or in outdoor playgrounds.

Available data has shown that in 2009 for instance there are 100,000 injuries related to trampoline used in America. This is the reason why the AAP issued and published the warning about trampolines being too dangerous for children to use.  Meanwhile data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) as revealed that 75% of trampoline injuries occur when multiple people are jumping on the mat with the smaller children 14 times as likely as a larger one to be injured.

This data supported the point that this outdoor equipment is dangerous to kids. The youngest kids one are even at greatest risk for significant injuries such those on legs and spine.  The data further revealed that children younger than 6 years old composed 22 to 37% of all those turning up in hospitals emergency rooms. Meanwhile 29% of the injuries in kids with ages ranging from 6 to 17 were fractures or dislocations but younger ones are far greater in number at 48%. The more serious result of the NEISS study revealed that 1 in 200 trampoline injuries resulted in some sort of permanent neurologic damage and that 37 to 39% of all injuries are potentially catastrophic.

Given those disturbing data, the AAP is recommending and supports the policy of limited use of trampolines in supervised training programs like in gymnastics and diving classes. But these activities should have strict safety guidelines to follow according to the group.

 In the absence of official government regulations, parents should have their own safety policies to ensure the well-being of the children when playing with trampolines. What experts primarily recommend is to use safety nets and pads. For instance there are special nets designed to surround the trampoline as well as cover the springs, hooks and frame with shock-absorbing pads. Unsupervised jumping should not be allowed and the number of people jumping at the same time should be limited.

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