Be careful with the summer jumping

Richmond News
Published: July 12th, 2017

An afternoon of fun on a neighbour’s trampoline ended suddenly when three-year-old Remy crashed to the ground. His parents rushed him to the emergency department.

“He was in a lot of pain,” said his dad, Cameron. “I was surprised to hear how bad it was.”Remy fractured his arm and was in a cast for a month. Doctors see hundreds of kids like Remy every year in hospital emergency departments.  They most often see fractures, with the ankles, elbows and heads being the most commonly injured parts.

“In Richmond Hospital, we see a peak in trampoline injuries between April and September,” said Dr. Erik Swartz, Richmond-based head of pediatrics at Vancouver Coastal Health.  “I see a lot of concussions and broken arms, but more serious injuries definitely do occur.”

Stats from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) show that spine injuries can occur during falls, but more often happen when someone somersaults or flips.  The most common injuries involve jumping or falling off the trampoline.  The majority of injuries (80 per cent) occur when two or more children are on the trampoline at the same time.

The trampoline Remy was on did have a safety net but the door wasn’t closed at the time.  “We’ve learned our lesson,” said Cameron. “We only want him using trampolines that have the safety nets, so he’s more secure.  “This was the one time it wasn’t zipped up. We need to be more mindful next time.”

Swartz said he would always “want to encourage physical activity and being outdoors.  “But we also want parents and caregivers to err on the side of caution, and take as many precautions as possible to limit preventable injuries.”

Evidence-based safety tips:

Only one person should be on the trampoline at a time;
Closely supervise all children;
Don’t jump onto or off a trampoline;
Have a safety net and keep the door closed;
Reduce risk of neck or spine injuries by limiting flips or somersaults.

For more information, visit online at VCH.ca/about-us/news/trampoline-safety.