Approximately 10 to 15% of the visits to children’s hospital emergency rooms nationwide involve orthopaedic injuries (those involving bones, joints and related muscles). With orthopaedic injuries to children being so common, it’s a good idea to know how many of these injuries occur.
Trampolines are great fun for kids, but they have also been proven to be very dangerous. In fact, trampolines cause about 100,000 injuries each year – and nearly 93% of bone fractures caused by trampolines happen to children under 16 years of age. These injuries are so frequent that the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages the use of trampolines at home. However, if you do allow your children to use a trampoline, here are a few tips to help prevent injuries:
- Never let children use a trampoline unsupervised.
- Do not let more than one person at a time use the trampoline.
- Free-standing trampolines should always have a safety net enclosing them.
- There should be no objects (furniture, yard tools and equipment, etc.) for 10 feet around the area where the trampoline is located.
Skateboards & Roller Skates
Skateboards and roller skates are responsible for approximately 150,000 injuries to children each year. Because of the high risk of injury, children under age six should not be allowed to skateboard or roller skate – and those under 10 should only do so under adult supervision. Here are some safety tips for skating activities:
- Skating should only be done on smooth surfaces such as concrete or blacktop.
- Never allow skating near vehicle traffic of any kind.
- Make sure your kids wear safety equipment including a helmet, wrist protectors, knee pads and elbow pads.
ATVs & Motorized Bikes
Several hundred thousand children are injured each year while riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorized bikes such as mini-bikes, dirt bikes and motorcycles. Many physicians believe that children should not be allowed to drive any type of motorized vehicle until they reach the age when they can receive a license to drive a car. If you decide to allow your child to drive an ATV or motorized bike, here are a few safety tips:
- Children under the age of 12 should not be allowed to drive any motorized vehicle.
- ATVs should never be driven on roads – they are designed for off-road activities.
- Never allow your child to permit a passenger to ride on an ATV or motorized bike.
- Never let your child drive a motorized vehicle without wearing a helmet.
If your child suffers an orthopaedic injury that causes persistent or severe pain, swelling or inability to move their arms, legs or any of their joints properly, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
DISCLAIMER: Always consult your physician before acting on any medical advice or tips you may receive – including those involving medical procedures, exercises, lifestyle changes, supplements, vitamins, etc. Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital is not responsible for any adverse effects experienced by persons who act upon advice without prior approval from a qualified physician.