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Toddler's Serious Injury Is a Reminder That Kids Shouldn't Be on Trampolines

Photograph by Twenty20

New recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatric discouraging kids from using trampolines made headlines in 2012. But now, five years later, many parents are still unaware of these dangers. One heartbroken mom is speaking out and spreading the word after her 3-year-old son broke his femur at an indoor trampoline park.

Kait Ellen shared a photo of son, Colton, covered in casts from his waist to his ankles. He was jumping alongside his dad when he fell. The mom of two later clarified that the parents were not bouncing in the same square as Colton when the injury occurred but were on one of the squares next to him.

"As hard as it is to relive the past 12 days, we feel compelled to make other parents aware of the danger associated with indoor trampoline parks," she wrote. "Our lives have been turned upside down since Colton's accident and every day is a struggle for his sweet 3-year-old self as he adjusts to life in a hip spica cast for the next six weeks."

If you're thinking about setting up trampolines as the perfect summer workout for the kids, you might want to hold off. The AAP says trampolines are not to be used as play equipment and are unsafe for kids of any age. Children younger than 6 especially should never use a trampoline, even in supervised training programs. Safety features like enclosed netting and padding are not enough to reduce the risk of injury, and children still get hurt even if there's a parent or adult supervising. Trampolines should only be used with trained individuals like physical therapists or athletic trainers and with one person on the trampoline at a time.

The smallest and youngest kids are at greater risk for getting hurt. Of children 5 and younger, 48 percent of injuries resulted in fractures or dislocations. In all age groups, common injuries include sprains, strains and contusions, and 27 to 39 percent of injuries consist of falls, which can be catastrophic.

Ellen said she had no idea about the recommendations and were shocked to find out about them from Colton's pediatric orthopedic surgeon during his hospital stay. She hopes that through her Facebook post which currently has more than 220,000 shares, more parents will be aware.

"We share this with you today to spread awareness that these facilities are specifically advertising for Toddler Time, when in fact toddlers should be no where near trampolines," she wrote. "We hope by sharing his story it will prevent a child and their family from experiencing the trauma and heartbreak associated with trampoline injuries in young children."

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