Eight year old Miles Butler spent most of last summer wishing he could run, play, even walk.
“I didn’t really do anything. I just relaxed all summer long,” says Butler.
He spent time at doctor’s visits and rehab after breaking part of his knee cap while jumping on a trampoline.
Miles’ father, Scott Butler says, “Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing dangerous, doing flips off this or that, just straight up and down, and I wouldn’t imagine it would end up in a major surgery.”
He’s not alone. In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, trampolines lead to more than 280,000 injuries every year and more than 100,000 ER visits.
“The number one message for families is don’t own a trampoline at home,” says Dr. Sumit Gupta.
Dr. Gupta, a pediatric orthopedic specialist at University of Missouri Health Care, frequently sees kids with broken bones, neck injuries, even head trauma, all from trampolines. He says safety equipment, like netting or mats, really doesn’t make a difference.
Gupts adds, “Different studies have found that the use of safety netting, etc., in trampolines does not really reduce the instances of injuries, and just give a false sense of security.”
Since Miles’ injury, the Butlers got rid of their trampoline.
Scott Butler says, “Knowing what I know now, I would not buy another one. The risk is not as good as the reward.”
Miles is planning to enjoy this summer with two feet on the ground.
If you do decide to buy a trampoline, Dr. Gupta recommends taking several safety precautions: always have adult supervision, only allow one child to jump on the trampoline at a time, and don’t allow kids to do flips or acrobatics.
It’s also important to keep your trampoline in good condition.