New Brunswick

Doctor jumps on increase in kids with trampoline injuries

A Fredericton doctor says he's treating a lot of children with serious injuries from playing on outdoor trampolines.

A doctorin Fredericton says he's treating more kids with injuries from playing on trampolines, and is urgingparents to keep an eye on their youngsters.

Dr. Scott Bowden,an orthopedic surgeon at Chalmers Hospital, saidkids are suffering everything fromsprained ankles, to serious neck injuries causing paralysis.

Parents shouldn't be surprised their children are getting hurt, he added.

Trampoline safety tips from Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

• Provide adult supervision, ideally four spotters.

• Restrict use to one person at a time.

• Limit access to children aged seven and older.

• Don't jump onto the trampoline from another object.

• Avoid somersaults and other manoeuvres.

• Cover the edges with a safety pad.

• Add a surrounding net.

"When I see children in the emergency department or the fracture clinic,and I say it's not a surprise that this injury has occurred, [parents] seem taken aback by it," he said. "When your skeleton is not mature, the very act of jumping on a trampoline can cause injuries to your somewhat fragile skeleton."

Bowden is especially concerned about some of the high-risk tricks children are learning.

Turns into mini-acrobat

Joel Grasse, 12,turns into a mini-acrobat whenever he's on the trampoline.

Hehaslearned to do forward flips andperform a trickhe calls "slam-ball,"which involves jumpingoff atrampoline and dunkinga ball through a basketball net.

"It's the same as basketball, but you can only slam-dunk the ball, and it's rough," he said.

Grasse said he oncefell offthe trampoline performing the trick.

"I went high and flew over the net, and I sort of hurt my foot," he said. "I twisted it all up."

Bowden said precautions must be taken to prevent injuries.

"Deaths have been reported from simply tumbling and jumping on trampolines," he said.

Bowden said adults should always monitor children on the equipment. He suggests that parents put upsafety netting, prohibit tumbling and never let more than one child jump at a time.