(CPSC) today released a report showing that hospital emergency room-treated trampoline injuries almost tripled in the last decade - from an estimated 37,500 in 1991 to almost 100,000 in 1999. Nearly two-thirds of the victims were children 6 to 14 years of age. About 15 percent of injuries involved young children under 6 years old. Since 1990, CPSC has received reports of 11 deaths related to trampoline use.
Trampolines have become increasingly popular in recent years. For the first time, trampoline gymnastics will be a featured sport at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia later this week. In 1998, an estimated 640,000 backyard trampolines were sold in the United States.
Most trips to the emergency room are the result of jumpers colliding with one another, falling on the trampoline springs or frame, falling or jumping off the trampoline, or attempting somersaults and stunts.
To reduce injuries, CPSC has worked with the industry to develop a new standard for trampolines, which went into effect in 1999. Four new requirements were added to make trampolines safer and alert consumers to potential dangers:
Padding must completely cover the metal frame, hooks, and all springs.
There must be a label on the trampoline box stating, trampolines over 20 inches tall are not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
Ladders cannot be sold with trampolines to prevent access by young children.
Warning label on the trampoline bed must alert consumers not to allow more than one person to jump at a time and to warn against somersaults that can cause paralysis and death.
"The Olympics could give the popularity of trampolines another bounce," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Unfortunately, the injuries have already reached Olympic proportions. The new safety standard along with taking precautions could help prevent many of these injuries."
The CPSC recommends the following safety tips:
- Always supervise children who use a trampoline.
- Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.
- Do not allow somersaults.
- Do not allow the trampoline to be used without padding that completely covers the springs, hooks, and the frame.
- Place the trampoline away from structures and other play areas.
- Do not use a ladder with the trampoline because it provides unsupervised access by small children.
Trampoline net enclosures can prevent injuries from falling off the trampoline.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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