"It’s not a toy like the others": pediatricians warn of the dangers of trampolines

Accidents are more and more common, in gardens or playrooms, according to the latest surveys on the subject. Doctors warn parents.

A trampoline accident can be “extremely painful, to the point of having to give morphine to children”. Worried about the increase in pediatric fractures linked to these facilities, Nicolas Winter is sounding the alarm. This pediatric emergency doctor at the hospital in Valenciennes, in the North, warns that certain injuries may require an operation and the fitting of pins. “Then it’s a minimum of six weeks in plaster.”

In a series of tweets, he warned and reminded – radios of young patients in support – that trampolines were “one of the first providers of fractures” in his services. Installations whose, according to him, the risks are still too often minimized, even ignored.

“It’s a public health message,” he adds. “You don’t put a baby who can barely walk or even a 3-year-old child on a trampoline, it’s not a toy like the others.”

“Dramatic” accidents

Trampoline accidents are indeed more and more frequent: according to a French study carried out between 2008 and 2016, they have been multiplied by ten in eight years. Public Health France identifies 4154 cases in minors, between 2004 and 2014, with an overrepresentation of children aged 5 to 9 years.

The danger concerns both trampolines installed in gardens and in playrooms. Even though, according to another study, accidents are more serious when they occur in a trampoline park, with fractures two to three times more frequent than at home.

“Accidents are numerous and sometimes serious, which leads to over-consumption of medicine, particularly in the emergency room and in the pediatric surgery departments”, is alarmed for BFMTV.com Raphaël Vialle, head of the orthopedic and restorative surgery department of the child at Armand Trousseau Hospital in Paris.

“A few isolated accidents can be particularly dramatic and lead to severe and permanent disability or even death in the event of serious head trauma,” adds the doctor.

“Butter lump” fractures

A French study, published this year, showed that in 16% of cases, the lesions are severe and require surgery under general anesthesia.

“The children, propelled upwards, lose their balance”, analyzes the doctor Nicolas Winter. “They place their hands in extension to catch themselves and fall back on the membrane of the trampoline.”

“That’s how we often end up with ‘butter clod’ fractures (a bone that twists or crushes on itself, the most common fracture in children, editor’s note) of both wrists “, continues the emergency doctor. “But I’ve also seen tibia or femur fractures, it’s even more painful.”

Prohibited for children under 6?

Andreas Werner, president of the French Association of Ambulatory Pediatrics (Afpa), recalls certain imperative safety rules for BFMTV.com: only one child on the trampoline, always under the supervision of an adult, to avoid any salto or dangerous figure .

“It wouldn’t occur to anyone to leave a child alone in a swimming pool. Well, it’s the same. an adult, they can crash into each other. And with the rebound, the child risks being ejected.”

But “even by respecting the safety instructions, it is a sporting activity much more dangerous than any other sport”, he is indignant for BFMTV.com. “An example: the springs are rarely protected, the child can fall on them and hurt themselves all the more.” For him, trampolines should purely and simply be prohibited for children under 6 years old.

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