Parents Right to Say ‘Don’t Jump on Bed’

NEW YORK — 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 explained.

“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.

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