Archive for September 7th, 2011

September 7, 2011

Toddlers and Trampolines

My daughters’ pediatric ortho said:

“Why did you let your daughter jump on a trampoline?”, “In the future, do not let your child jump on any trampolines till she is in grade school!” “You should have known!”

ER doctors and staff:

“Oh, you should NEVER let your toddler jump on trampolines”.

Older lady at the market:

“Oh what happened?”, “You need to be more careful with the cute little child”!

Well, just FINE…call me “Mother of the Year” why don’t ya!?

I will back track a bit, and tell you my story. Two weeks ago, I took my daughter, who is now 21months old, to a new “jump” gym that has several massive trampoline’s, bounce houses, and a foam pit. I’ve noticed these new jump places are a new “fad” and all the kids with their parents are heading there in car fulls. I knew a few other moms who recently took their toddlers to these places, and were raving how great they were. My daughter loves the trampolene at her gym class, so I thought why not? The place we went to has several different areas with trampolines for different age groups. One area secluded in the back is for the “toddler” age group, which has two huge long trampolines and a couple bounce houses.

We made our way to the toddler area and my daughter was so excited to start jumping! I did notice that the “toddler” area was actually 7 years and younger, and about fifty percent of the kids were of toddler age along with their moms/dads, and the other fifty percent were crazy, high energy 5-7 years olds running circles around all our toddlers. So, my daughter and I made it on the trampoline, we were holding hands and having so much fun. It was very crazy in there, with the other older boys running around us. Next thing you know, I went to one side of the trampoline and had my back to her for one second as she was jumping in the middle of the trampoline. I turned around and there she was laying in a ball in the middle of the trampoline screaming. Two hours later, we were at the ER with a broken leg (tibia).

I guess toddlers and all small children have pretty soft bones, and can break their limbs fairly easy, especially on impact. They said she might have hyper-extended her leg when landing from the jump and the other bodies (mine included) on the trampoline probably caused her to land hard too. (Mother of the Year!)

So now my very active toddler, who runs and jumps all over the place, is in a full leg cast above her knee for the next 4-6 weeks. Our lives have been turned upside down. She can’t walk like she used too, she can’t swim (it’s 110 degrees). She can’t take normal baths, and the list goes on. I searched and searched online to try and find things to do with ‘disabled’ children, or children with needs and I was very surprised that there was not very much available. I had to find a way to keep her entertained for over a month, and I found some good ideas, but most of them I had to come up with myself. I spent the first few nights, after she went to bed re-organizing the house, almost like it was a ‘handicap’ house. I moved all her ‘floor friendly’ toys out of the closets. Pulled all her coloring and art items out, and set up “stations” around the house.

This worked great, because we moved her around the house to different activities, that way she was not stuck in one area doing everything. Here are some of the “stations” I set up:

Station #1: Let’s draw on the walls: (well, not really, but I taped rolled paper along the walls so she could essecially draw while sitting on the floor). This is one of her “art project” areas.


Station #2: Set up a “reading corner”. I put a blanket on floor, bean bag, and all her favorite books, puzzles and games.


Station #3: We set up her play tent, so she can play hide n’seek with Daddy, or snuggle and tell stories with her babysitter, or just lay and watch movie from inside.



Station #4: Another art station. This time I put out one of those flip charts full of paper, and layed it on the floor along with her crayons. This way she can lay on her tummy and draw.

And a MUST HAVE of course is a wagon!

It’s too hot here in Arizona to take it outside right now but, we can put her in the wagon and go in circles around the house or at least go for “rides” around house while we get a couple things done “hands-free”. Another adorable idea I have seen our nanny and my daughter do, was play “Safari”. They pretend to go on a safari, and they walk through the safari pretending they see different safari animals. It’s all about being creative!! And of course if the weather is nice out, a wagon would be great to take your toddler to the zoo, childrens museum, or anywhere outside.

Here are some other ideas:

Idea #1: Get organized! I organized bins for painting, drawing, stamping, and play-dou. This way she can choose one project to do at a time, rather than have all the art projects out.




Idea #2: Countdown Calendar – I ordered a generic white countdown calendar, that came with 25 days of little boxes. Inside I put little candies, chocolates, play princess rings, and lots of other little fun gifts. The doller stores and party stores are great to find little treasures for this. So starting on the 25th day before getting her cast off, she will pull out that day’s treat/gift. We explain to her, when she gets to the last box (gift), that will be when you can get your cast off! yay!!!!


Idea #3: “Cast-off” Party – I just recently went to a “Big-girl Panty Party” were our friends celebrated their daughter becoming potty-trained so they threw her a party and all the adults wore panty’s and celebrated her being a “big-girl”. Well, one of the family members suggested I have a “cast-off” party for Lexi, like the “panty party”. So on the day we get her cast-off, I am planning a small family party, to celebrate the cast coming off. I am going to have all the adults wrap their legs with fake casts, and we will have her take them off, and we’ll al20110904-014618.jpgl celebrate!

Idea #4: “Cast the stuffed animal” – We brought “hoppy” her favorite stuffed animal to ortho office and “hoppy” got a cast too!

Feel Better Little Buddy: Animals with Casts by Julia Segal

Here are some greatbooks I found that my daughter loves. They show animals and characters in casts.

Peg Leg Peke

I also think it is really important to keep her in her normal routine and her scheduled classes. She is not able to do all the things the other kids are doing in her class, but at least she can participate in the class as much as she can, and be socialized. She still loves going, and acts like she is not even hurt.

And don’t forget, you can do a little spoiling…I took my daughter to get her little toes painted to match her bright pink cast. I am okay with a little spoiling when she is injured, just not all the time!:)




So with some hard work from the parents and caregivers and a little creativity, we can push through this injury.

But back to the trampoline incident: I wrote this post to put a reminder out there that the tampolines are NOT for small children. They can be fun if your child is on the trampoline alone, or with similar sized kids. NOT with older kids, and even the parents. Our doctor even made jokes saying he was going to open an office next to all these jump places, because they are broken bones waiting to happen.

So mommies, beware and smart when letting you child bounce on the trampolines, unless you want to be “Mother of Month” like me!

*Note: I do put some blame on myself for being one of the people on trampoline jumping, and for even having the idea to go to the darn jump place to begin with. BUT I do put some blame on the facility itself. A toddler area is not one who allows older kids above age 3. I think these facilities need to regulate their toddler areas better, or this is not going to be their only injury! I contacted our local media, to see if they will cover this as a warning for parents, during this “jump” craze!

{{ A very special THANK YOU to Lindsay for all your help with our daughter during this injury }}

{Question} Do you have any other ideas for kids with casts? Do you have any other suggestions or experience with how to deal with casts in young children? Please comment, love to hear any more advice.

|| Your Desert Momma ||


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