September 29, 2005

Parents right to say “Don’t jump on bed”

By Charnicia E. Huggins

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The case of a 9-year-old boy
whose foot was pierced by a mattress wire while jumping on the
bed gives parents another good reason to tell their children
not to do it.

"All of us who have children try to keep kids from jumping
on beds for fear of them falling, but this is an additional
reason to try to stop kids from jumping on beds," Dr. Dante
Pappano, of the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York,
told Reuters Health.

While only limited research is available, it suggests that
serious injury from jumping on the bed is rare. In one of those
rare instances, however, a young child fractured the sternum
and in another, a child died by accidental hanging when a
lanyard worn around the neck caught on a bedpost as the child
jumped on the bed.

Traumatic injuries related to falls from the bed, however,
are well reported in scientific literature. Further, such
injuries, including dislocations and lacerations, are similar
to those experienced by children jumping on a trampoline or on
a bed, Pappano writes in the medical journal Pediatric
Emergence Care.

In his report, Pappano describes the case of a boy who was
brought to the emergency department with a "wire caught in his
foot." The wire, from the mattress, had become embedded in his
right foot as a result of his jumping on the bed, and at-home
attempts to remove it had been unsuccessful.

An X-ray revealed that the wire's resistance to removal was
due to its hook-like shape in the end embedded under the skin.
The wire was later successfully removed by surgery.

This type of injury has not previously been reported,
Pappano writes, and it is unique to the particular activity of
jumping on the bed.

The way older mattresses were made allows wires to break
under stress. "Newer mattresses will not allow this sort of
injury," Pappano told Reuters Health.

"Modern mattress construction obviates the possibility of
this kind of injury such that as old mattresses continue to be
discarded the risk of this sort of injury will disappear," he

"However," Pappano added, "other injuries, especially head,
neck and limb injuries may occur from jumping, then falling
from beds."

SOURCE: Pediatric Emergence Care, August 2005.