Parents just don't seem to be getting the message that home trampolines are dangerous and that kids need to be supervised closely when they use them, says James Linakis, an associate professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics. Backyard trampoline injuries have nearly doubled during the past decade, Linakis reported at this May's annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies. In a study that reviewed a sample of emergency-room reports from U.S. hospitals, Linakis, who is a pediatric emergency physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, found that on average 75,000 children a year were treated for trampoline injuries during 2001 and 2002. The majority of those injuries - 91 percent - occurred at home. Linakis warned that it's just not possible for parents to provide the level of supervision at home that trampoline use requires.
There's no question that sexual abuse of children is both common and harmful - it causes health problems, substance abuse, and criminality - but it is still woefully underresearched, says Associate Professor of Political Science Ross Cheit. In a policy paper that was published in Science this April, Cheit and six colleagues argued that child sexual abuse research is under funded, obscured by controversy, and fragmented by academic discipline. The cure, the authors said, is to recognize child sexual abuse as a public health problem - one that requires multidisciplinary efforts to improve prevention, treatment, and education. The authors also called for the creation of a new institute on child abuse within the National Institutes of Health.