With summer in full swing, children are out and about, soaking up the sunshine. While physical play is encouraged, physicians are reminding parents to use caution with some of these outdoor activities. Adrian Lewis, DO, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital, says some of the most common bone and joint injuries seen during the warmer months are from trampolines.
“With trampolines, we frequently see upper extremity injuries, such as injuries to the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand,” said Dr. Lewis. “Doing tricks, somersaults and having multiple people jumping on the trampoline at the same time can be a recipe for disaster. If you have two people of unequal weight, the lighter person is fourteen times more likely going to get hurt.”
Of the upper extremity injuries that occur from a trampoline, the majority happen on the trampoline’s mat. “The nets only prevent children from being rejected, which is in the minority,” said Dr. Lewis. “And in many cases, the injuries happen while a parent is supervising.”
If you have a trampoline, Dr. Lewis recommends these ground rules:
- Only allow one person on the trampoline at a time
- No flips on the trampoline
- Use parental supervision
- Only use a trampoline with a net
Playing on the monkey bars, bicycling, ATV rides, and diving into water can all cause bone and joint injuries, too. Riding bikes and ATVs without proper protection can lead to a traumatic brain injury, which can be deadly. Dr. Lewis says parents need to make sure their children are wearing helmets. Diving into a shallow water can potentially cause injury to the nervous system. That’s why Dr. Lewis recommends going into the water feet first and only diving into the deep end of the pool with parental supervision.