America’s Home Trampolines

As part of the Institut fr. Nihilism’s ten-year study on the sociology of the American family, a pilot project has studied the use, efficacy, dangers, and habitual abandonment of suburban and rural Americans’ family outdoor trampolines.

America’s families are in a state of advanced consumerist crisis, exemplified by the desperation of parents investing hundreds of dollars into outdoor trampolines that obscure their front, back, or side yards. These trampolines sit in constant idleness, having been used initially for two-to-three multiple child bouncy dates, then ignored and let sit outside as children and parents discovered the failing satisfaction of bounding on spring-loaded injury traps.  These trampolines took multiple hours to assemble, and are difficult and expensive to disassemble and throw away, so the vast majority sit outside, in various stages of visible disrepair.

While seemingly well-intentioned, this common, panic-induced buying spree of trampolines reflected the increasing ill-health of America’s children, uninterested in extensive recreation, and now committed to couch-sitting and screen-gazing. Their parents needed outdoor activities that occupied non-custodial supervision and site-specific athletic exertion, but the downsides to trampolining should have been evident from the beginning. As the most authoritative study on back-yard trampolining by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2012 attests,

 

TRAMPOLINE USE
1. Pediatricians should counsel their
patients and families against
recreational trampoline use and
explain that current data indicate
safety measures have not significantly reduced injury rates and
that catastrophic injuries do occur. For families who persist in
home trampoline use despite this
recommendation, pediatricians
should advise parents and their
children on the following guide-
lines until better information
becomes available:
a. Homeowners should verify that
their insurance policies cover
trampoline-related claims. Cover-
age is highly variable and a rider
may need to be obtained.
b. Trampoline use should be restricted to a single jumper on
the mat at any given time.
c. Trampolines should have adequate protective padding that is
in good condition and appropriately placed.
d. Trampolines should be set at
ground level whenever possible
or on a level surface and in an
area cleared of any surrounding hazards.
e. Frequent inspection and appropriate replacement of protective
padding, net enclosure, and any
other damaged parts should
occur.
f. Trampolines should be dis-
carded if replacement parts
are unavailable and the product
is worn or damaged.
g. Somersaults and
flips are
among the most common
causes of permanent and devastating cervical spine injuries
and should not be performed.
Memo Form: You should not have bought the damn trampoline- what were you thinking? They are sold-gold injury producers, designed to go begging for lawsuits, demanding constant vigilance and upkeep from America’s beleaguered parents, and sure to become broken. They should never have been permitted to be manufactured for home-based use.
In hindsight, this was one of American families’ worst decisions, though borne of understandable exasperation and worry. Having sent over 3000 children a year to hospitals for injuries sustained during trampolining, having disfigured the American backyard environment with failed, rusting all-weather hulks now unused, America’s parents need a trampoline buy-back program, across every region of America’s ongoing social failure heartland.

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