TRAMPOLINE: Stupid Kids Or Stupid Idea? Great Forum idea. I hope this helps:
As a three year child I was playing in my back yard whilst my mum was having coffee in the kitchen with my Aunt. My young cousin and I decided that it would be a great idea to play UNDER the trampoline instead of jumping on the mat as per usual. When my elder sister by 4.5 years starting jumping on top, we for some crazy 'childish' reason thought it would be a fantastic idea to try and kick her feet from beneath when she landed on the mat. I proceeded to lock my legs into place in order to give her a bit harder a kick. Perhaps I was getting frustrated at not being able to connect with her feet each time. I dont know why, I was only three!. Thats when it happened.
I cannot remember the actual pain but I do remember the fear. My sister had landed on my leg this time! I felt an amazing crunching feeling. That is the best way I can describe it. I remember screaming so loud that no sound was coming out as I tried to crawl out from under the trampoline. Mum came instantly panicking. What has happened? "MY Leg" I screamed hysterically.
Mum first looked at my leg which appeared to be fine. My knee was bending, No blood, No bruising. " Calm down" she tried to settle me. "Tell Mummy, what happened" My cousin and sister proceeded to tell the story of what had just happened. Buy now the shock had started to set in and I was very quiet.
"Where is the pain" Mum said. "Can you stand up"? "NO" I cried, knowing inside that something was so so wrong. "Your leg looks O.K honey. Let's just try and stand you up". She lifted me to standing position, let go and I proceeded to collapse to the ground. "Stand Up" She was panicking and getting frustrated. Again she tried to stand me up. Collapse. Mum then knew that something was so so wrong. She could see that I was about to pass out from the shock. In a panicked state my Mum and Aunt carried me to the bedroom and lay me on the bed. They stripped my shorts to have a look at my hip which appeared normal until she stood back and realised that one of my legs was about a third shorter than the other.
I will never forget the look on her face. I knew then that this was something so so scary. Mum rang an ambulance and was told I probably had a dislocated hip. She was instructed not to move me and to wait for the ambulance officers to arrive. Mum was so so worried of course and instantly blaming herself for not watching me every second like a hawk. When the ambulance officers arrived they told mum that my hip was dislocated and needed to be pulled back into place. They got mum to hold my hand whilst they tried to lift my leg up to pull it back into position. Again that crunching feeling. I screamed. "Be a big brave girl they said, It will all be over soon". Again they tried to lift my leg. CRUNCH I screamed even louder and began to shake all over.
"Oh My God"! said one ambulance officer. "I have never seen anything like this before" said the other. I could tell by the look on their face that this was scary even for them. "What is it" My Mum naturally demanded. "What is the matter"? The ambulance officer proceeded to tell my mother that I had not dislocated my hip at all. My leg bone had actually punched through the entire hip and was now wedged in my body. My hip had completely shattered.
CRUNCH! This is a very rare occurrence as the leg bones would usually snap and give way before the hip joint, however the force that it was hit with was obviously extreme.
We left in the ambulance and headed to the nearest hospital. On arrival at the local hospital noone had ever dealt with such a case in a young child and so I was sent onto another hospital. I was put into theatre and had my leg retrieved from my hip. Afterwards I was placed in traction and spent three months in my hosptial bed trying to heal. No doctor had ever seen this in such a young child and there were many concerns. At first my mother was told I would never walk again. You can only imagine her devastation at the thought. Then after further investigation the doctors said that I was beginning to grow a new hip (luckily) due to the fact that I was so young and my hips were still made up of mostly soft cartilage, but, that I would have a severe limp due to my left leg now being slightly shorter to the other and would most likely need some assistance eg: walking frame/stick to walk. Much to the doctors shock, I heeled and began to walk without any assistance at all. After many months of treatment and physio therapy, I could finally go home and live my normal life. The doctors told my mother how amazingly lucky we were and that at the very least,when I was fully grown, I would most likely experience problems with my hip and the early onset of arthritis would be highly likely.
They were right. I am now thirty years old and have experienced excrutiating hip pain since I was 21years old. Pregnancy is extremely difficult as my hip simply cannot bear the weight for the final three months and I cannot take pain tablets to help whilst carrying my children. As a result I can barely walk for the last three months of pregnancy. I struggle to keep my weight under 90kgs as I experience great difficulty walking if I weigh more than this. This is a difficult thing for me to do as I have a (cuddly) persons metabolism.
I guess I should be counting myself so lucky that I was able to walk, run and play at all as a child and not regretting this pain as an adult but i cant stop thinking how unbelievably stupid I was to be under that trampoline! How incredibly stupid were all of us. Mum, Aunty, Sister and cousin included. How could we all think that this trampoline was safe! Why did my parents buy that Stupid contraption in the first place?
The answer though is so so simple. We Had No Idea! Who would consider such a scenario? Every time I speak of this to a trampoline owner they go green in the face and are horrified to consider the risks they have taken themselves with their own children. I once saw a two year old child run underneath a trampoline whilst teenagers were jumping on top. Their parents showed absolutely no concern!!!! How rediculous is it that I can shock people that own these trampolines with this story! Trampolines are responsible for so many injuries in children resulting in even DEATH! How can people purchase these so easily with no realistic warning! I have obviously not purchased one of theses potential death traps for my children but I know that the people I tell this story to, that have already purchased one, are completely Shocked. They were obviously not made aware of how dangerous the equipment can actually be. These potential death traps should be banned! If you take a look at the actual statistics on injuries to children caused by these things It is just So OBVIOUS! They should at the very least be treated with a lot more caution. You would not erect a swimming pool and leave it unfenced and unattended with young children around. Noone would even consider fencing their trampoline for safety! Where is the WARNING? How can these things possibly be up to safety standard without even at least warning people about the real and serious risks to their childrens' health and even lives?
Do not purchase a trampoline! If your children must bounce, send them to the gym where they can be supervised and practice the necessary safety measures.
Do not think that safety mats, nets etc will save your children. The real danger is in the natural force of gravity which you can do nothing to prevent! Do your child a favor. Do Not Buy One. If you already have one. Get rid of it. Do not give it away. Destroy it and take it to the tip! You could not possibly hand this death trap to someone elses child in good conscience.
If you have one and dont believe there is a major risk, please atleast consider caging off the under part, especially if you have small children.
Use some timber to close off the underneath! Do not rely on adult supervision alone as it only takes a split second for a small child to duck underneath. CRUNCH!