Würzburg pediatric surgeon warns of the “catapult effect” and other dangers

Trampoline is extremely popular. The brief moments of weightlessness make many people laugh. Children and young people in particular are excited. But also adults. You use the trampoline for fitness training or a workout that combines purpose with pleasure.

However, some are less enthusiastic. “Games, fun – and cracks!” – this is how the University Hospital Würzburg (UKW) overwrites a current press release. Here, the Clinic for Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Urology and Pediatric Traumatology draws attention to the “catapult effect”. This leads to 40,000 accidents among girls and boys in Germany every year.

What is the risk of accidents on trampolines?

“68 percent of accidents on the trampoline occur when several children jump at the same time,” says Professor Thomas Meyer, head of the Würzburg pediatric surgery department. For 42 percent, a failed landing was the reason. According to Meyer, half of the children (average age eight years) are injured in the lower extremities (hips, legs, feet) and in a third the upper extremities (shoulder girdle, arms, hands). “Here above all the elbow.” According to him, injuries to the cervical vertebrae are relatively rare, but the risk of paraplegia should not be underestimated.

What are typical injuries when jumping on a trampoline

One of the classic injuries that children under the age of six sustain when jumping on a trampoline is a proximal tibial fracture, i.e. a fracture of the upper tibia. “In the professional world, the name ‘trampoline fracture’ has already been established for this,” says pediatric surgeon Meyer. The reason here is always trampoline riding with a heavier child or adult. “It’s easy to have a catapult effect here.”

What other serious injuries can trampolining cause?

According to pediatric surgeon Meyer, serious accidents also occur if the net around the trampoline is not closed or is defective. In this situation, serious injuries in the area of ​​the elbow joint or the lower forearm are not uncommon. Even if children jump on the trampoline along with other sports equipment, such as a ball, serious injuries are possible, such as knee injuries, according to Meyer. He therefore recommends not taking play equipment on the trampoline.

Which damages are not immediately visible?

There are also injuries associated with trampoline that are not directly related to trampoline. About suddenly increasing abdominal pain, combined with vomiting. Professor Meyer gives an example: he diagnosed a tortuous ovary in a small patient. With a keyhole operation, the pediatric surgery team at UKW was able to undo the twist and thus preserve the ovary, according to Meyer.

What warnings and safety instructions do doctors give?

According to UKW, the German Society for Pediatric Surgery and the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery have repeatedly warned about the dangers of trampoline jumping in recent years, pointing out the particular danger posed by young children. They therefore only recommend this activity from the age of six. The Professional Association of Pediatricians provides the following warnings and safety instructions when using a trampoline: Children under the age of six should not use a trampoline; not without a safety net and never jump together; no somersaults or other overhead jumps; Children should only jump in the presence of adults.

How high is the risk of accidents in a trampoline hall?

Of course there are accidents, but only a few, says Corinna Leuze, assistant to the management of the “SkyandSand” trampoline hall in Würzburg, which opened in 2019. “We’ve had three in the last six months,” says Leuze. “We have been involved in an initiative for two years that only reports accidents in trampoline halls.” Many statistics do not differentiate between where accidents occur, but list all accident locations together, such as garden, school, playground and hall. One cause of accidents is overconfidence. “That’s why we advise against too long jump times,” says Leuze.

How do trampoline halls prevent jumping accidents?

Corinna Leuze from “SkyandSand” states that every trampoline hall has a safety concept. There are safety briefings before the fun. The rules include, for example: only jumping with non-slip jumping socks and with both feet in the middle of the trampoline. Children under the age of twelve are only allowed in the hall with an accompanying adult. Only one person is allowed per trampoline. “Jumping in is not allowed because of the catapult hazard,” says Leuze. “We are very aware of that, because it can lead to breaking and torn ligaments.”

reviews The Stiftung Warentest on trampolines for the home garden is available online at: www.familie.de/testberichte/trampolin-test-stiftung-warentest-empfiehlt-diese-trampolin/

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