When Hollywood stuntwoman Leigh Hennessy walks up a wall or sails over a 20-foot fence, she's launched from an unseen trampoline - right into her role as stunt double for actresses like Lucy Liu, Demi Moore and Helen Mirren. But when you or your kids decide to get launched on your backyard trampoline, there's a good chance one of you will land in the emergency room with a broken bone or worse.
A new study says that from 2002 to 2011, more than 1 million trampoline injuries (almost all happen at home) cost $1 BILLION in emergency hospital care. Kids around 9 years old account for most of the fractures to fingers, hands, forearms and elbows. Injuries to the head, back and torso tend to happen to older teens; they jump higher and more forcefully. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons advise against home trampolines.
But we don't want you or your kids to be less active - just safer! (A new report says that only about 25 percent of kids ages 6-15 get the recommended 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily, and only 20 percent of adults get the recommended 150 minutes weekly.) If you must trampoline - it's been an Olympic sport for almost 16 years - do it only with supervision as part of a sports training program, and find out the program's safety record beforehand. For kids 6 or under? Fuggedaboutit. As for at-home activities, put up that badminton or volleyball net, or play backyard football, soccer or frisbee. Have fun, stay fit and stay away from backyard trampolines!
© King Features Syndicate