Amelie Dufour is just shy of two years old and has already had her first broken bone. A few weeks ago, Amelie was jumping on the family’s backyard trampoline with her older brother when she took an awkward fall.
“I didn’t think anything of it. It was not a super painful cry–just a cry, ” Dufour said. “He said she landed funny and right away he knew she hurt her left leg.”
Dr. Carrie Kollias treated Amelie, and was not surprised when she heard the injury was from jumping on a trampoline. Kollias is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and she says she sees trampoline injuries on a weekly basis.
“I would say it is an epidemic. One week, a couple of weeks ago, we had two children come in with severe injuries from trampolines.”
Alberta Health Services says 50 kids a year suffer trampoline injuries in the South Zone. The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends no one under the age of 18 years old should jump on trampolines.
“They are actually suggesting that there are so many injuries from trampolining and that they can be quite severe. You can have neck injuries, head injuries and even death. They are recommending people don’t buy trampolines,” South Zone Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karin Goodison said.
Kollias agrees with the Canadian Pediatric Society’s recommendations, but believes the rules could be harsher.
“The American Pediatric Society has a much stronger stance, and they have asked for an outright ban for those under 14,” Kollias said. “Personally I would adhere to those recommendations. As a parent and physician, my children will not be jumping on trampoline.”
Kollias says toddlers like Amelie are resilient and usually bounce back from injuries. While she hopes to never have to treat a trampoline-related injury again, she knows that isn’t overly realistic.
“I know there is going to be parents that watch this and they will have no change in their behaviour, and that is very discouraging.”