Viral photo raises trampoline safety concerns - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Viral photo raises trampoline safety concerns

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A picture posted by a Florida mom is being liked and shared by thousands of people on all social media platforms, questioning the safety of trampolines.

It shows a 3-year-old in Tampa who broke his thigh bone while jumping on a trampoline at a jump park.

After looking into how dangerous trampolines can be, we uncovered some pretty scary statistics.

Nationwide, 100,000 people per year get hurt on trampolines each year. Most of them are kids, with about 15,000 of them kids younger than six.

Most days in the summer, you'll find Cassie Hughes and her kids at the trampoline park.

"It's great exercise for my kids," she said. "It's scary watching them jump and almost hit each other but I think it's just they need to be careful with their surroundings," said Hughes.

Hughes thinks it's up to parents teach their kids safe practices.

"How many times have we fallen off our bike? Should we put on social media that we shouldn't ride our bikes and that bikes are dangerous? I mean that's ridiculous," she said.

Doctors say its one thing for kids to play at a trampoline park -– it’s quite another to jump up and down on a backyard trampoline.

"When the patient fall off of the trampoline and onto the ground, that's the source of the most severe injuries," said Dr. Jason Sevald, an ER doctor at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

Hughes said she wouldn't let her kids jump on a backyard trampoline but will take them to the indoor gym.

"If they fall, they're basically falling on another trampoline or on a padded area versus on a tree root or concrete," she said.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says children younger than 6 years old should never get on trampolines.

Most trampoline parks have rules, such as no double jumping on a trampoline, no sitting and no roughhousing.

Off The Wall jumping gym in Coconut Creek has several guides and supervisors that constantly watch every move the kids make. They also require parents and kids to sign waivers as well as go through a safety orientation before jumping.

"We don't have an age limit as long as they can walk on their own two feet," said Allyson Sneider, a supervisor. "You can get hurt..But it's inevitable anywhere you go. But we don't want that so we try to help and keep everything safe."

As trampoline parks have increased in number and popularity in recent years so have trampoline injuries. A pediatrics study found ER visits for trampoline park-related injuries jumped more than ten-fold from 2010 to 2014.

"As we say, all things in moderation. Play safely, play supervised. And it's still a very safe toy to have," said Dr. Sevald.

If you do want a backyard trampoline, get one with a nets so that kids don't fall off. Make sure there is padding over the coils.

Also, don't let your kids take objects like cell phones or toys onto the trampoline with them. They need to have both hands free so that they can land safely and get hurt by flying items.

Click here to learn more safety tips.

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