Zipline popularity, injuries are growing

The popularity of ziplines is growing - and so are injuries associated with them.

The popularity of ziplines is growing - and so are injuries associated with them. A new study is out that shows zipline injuries increased nearly 56 percent between between 2009 and 2012.

Tracy Mehan co-authored the study at Nationwide Children's Hospital, the first to track zipline injuries on a national level.

"Seventy percent of them were in the last four years, which shows us that this is a growing trend. In fact, in 2012 alone, there were over 3,600 injuries, which was about ten a day," Mehan says.

Overall, researchers studied a 16 year period and found nearly 17,000 people were treated in emergency departments for zipline-related injuries. About half of those injured were children 10 years of age and younger. The most common injuries were broken bones, and most people were hurt by falling from the ziplines.

Experts hope to use the findings of this study to push for uniform safety standards when it comes to ziplines, especially because the industry continues to grow.

In 2001 there were only 10 commercial zipline courses in the U.S. Today there are more than 200, and safety standards vary from state to state.

So while many agree ziplining can be fun and a beautiful way to see the scenery, here's the advice from the doctor if you go ziplining. Make sure the staff is well trained and ask to see how the ziplines meet industry safety standards. Remember to follow all posted rules and to always wear proper safety equipment, such as a harness, helmet and gloves - and never use homemade or backyard ziplines.

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