The warning comes from James G. Linakis, MD, PhD, a pediatric emergency doctor at Hasbro Children's Hospital and associate professor at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
From 1990 through 1995, trampolines sent 41,600 kids to U.S. emergency rooms each year. That nearly doubled in 2001-2002, when 74,696 kids each year wound up in the ER. More than 90 percent of these injuries happened on home trampolines.
"Parents so far have not gotten the message that trampolines should not be used in the home environment," Linakis says in a news release. "They should be used in very structured, well-monitored environments with proper supervision. Frankly, that supervision probably doesn't and can't happen at home."
Broken Bones, Dislocated Joints Most Common
Linakis presented the findings at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Washington.
According to a 2001 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 3 million backyard trampolines in use in the U.S. at that time. More than 500,000 home trampolines are sold each year.
Most of the trampoline injuries that send kids to the emergency room are broken bones or dislocated joints. Head and neck injuries make up 11 percent of the total.