There is a debate among some parents about which is safer, a pool or trampoline? They are both fun for children, but they also both pose dangers. The key to safety with either is supervision by parents. When children are taught safety and are given rules to follow that are enforced, they can have fun and be safe at the same time.
Most parents don’t understand that trampolines require the same amount of supervision as pools. When children are unsupervised, most injuries occur. Serious accidents can occur when children of different weights are double jumping, and the smaller child becomes a missile and is thrown from the trampoline. Serious neck injuries may occur. Letting children jump alone is as dangerous as swimming alone. Falling from a trampoline improperly can cause sprains or broken bones. Sometimes children land on the trampoline edge. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends trampolines should be used as training devices, not toys. Injuries that can occur are spinal injuries, falling the wrong way, head lacerations, or colliding with other jumpers. Children under 17 should be supervised at all times. Between 2000 and 2005, there were an estimated 88,563 emergency room visits by injured trampoline participants.
Persons who own swimming pools must supervise their children at all times. Between 2000 and 2009, more than 675 preschoolers drowned each year. Another 2,000 preschoolers almost drowned, the majority of them in their own pool. Parents can be out of sight for less than five minutes, and their little one may drown.
Pools should have a 4’ high fence on all four sides, with a self-closing gate and latch out of the reach of children. Alarms can alert parents if someone enters the pool area. Parents or caregivers should take every thing they might need while their toddler is swimming: towels, snacks, sunscreen, phone, so they will never have to leave the pool. The phone is also handy in case of an emergency.
Drowning continues to be the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-19. Drowning is silent! Think about the cunningness of a toddler. They watch us and learn how to open a door, or take a stool out to reach something. They are more than capable of figuring out how to reach a door handle even with a lock, and head straight for the pool. There’s no screaming or yelling with drowning. The child quietly goes beneath the water and sinks. The consequences of drowning are devastating. Even those children that have had swimming lessons and are capable of swimming should have some sort of flotation device with them.
Please take time to think about making your back yard as safe for your children as possible. Whether it’s a trampoline or swimming pool, you can’t be too careful. Teach them how important it is to not get on a trampoline or into the water unless mom or dad or a caregiver is present. Having a swimming pool or trampoline ensures that your home will be the “fun” place for your family and your kids’ friends to gather. Just remember: the biggest issue surrounding children playing in pools and jumping on trampolines is parental supervision! It only takes seconds for an accident to happen.
Source: KidsDr.com, WFAA.com