It's Your Health
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Trampolines are becoming increasingly popular as home recreation items. This raises health and safety concerns because they can cause serious injuries if they are not used properly.
Trampolines range in size from the large outdoor variety to the small, personal exercise type. In 2000, trampoline gymnastics became an official Olympic event, which probably contributed to their recent increase in popularity.
Currently, there are neither Canadian regulations on the design and construction of trampolines, nor requirements for their advertisement, sale or importation. However, ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) has developed a standard which addresses trampoline components, assembly and instructions, as well as warnings that are to be provided with the product.
The Montreal Children's Hospital has reported that, between January and July 2004, its emergency room treated 40 trampoline-related injuries. The hospital had issued a warning in 1997 about the dangers associated with trampoline use after a teenager died from head injuries. The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario issued a warning to parents in 2003, noting that the hospital sees more than 50 patients a year for trampoline-related injuries.
A 1998 report released by the Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) noted that the hospital network had collected data on 149 trampoline-related injuries in 1990 and almost four times as many, 557 injuries, in 1998. The vast majority of trampoline-related injuries occured in the 5-14 year age range (78.9%).
Injuries from trampoline use range from sprained ankles and wrists to more serious injuries, such as skull fractures, broken backs and necks. Most of the injuries are caused by inappropriate or unsupervised use. According to the 1998 CHIRPP report, most trampoline-related injuries are the result of:
Because there is the potential for serious harm, be sure to take the following precautions when using a trampoline.
Although there are currently no Canadian regulations regarding trampolines, Health Canada is monitoring their use. If there is evidence of a safety-related problem with a specific make of trampoline, such as a flaw in design or construction, Health Canada will take appropriate action to ensure that the health and safety of Canadians is protected. This would include working with relevant manufacturers and the industry to correct the problem and advising the public of potential dangers.
To report a problem with a trampoline, contact your nearest Health Canada Product Safety or call 1-866-662-0666 and ask for the telephone number of the Health Canada Product Safety Office nearest you.
For more on child safety.
For additional articles go to the It's Your Health Web site. You can also call (613) 957-2991.
ę Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada,
represented by the Minister of Health, 2005
Date of Publication July 2005