With the rise of indoor trampoline parks becoming a widespread trend trampoline injuries are projected to escalate especially among those under the age of sixteen, yet it is not in the commercial setting that poses greater risk but at home trampolines. A study recently published in The Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, analyzed trampoline fracture patterns and costs. The released findings indicate that between the years 2002 and 2011 there were an estimated 1 million visits to the emergency department relating to trampoline injuries costing more than $1 billion. The most common injury sustained from trampolines was fractures. The average age for those with a fracture injury was approximately 9.5 years old with over 92 percent of those injured from a trampoline were under the age of sixteen. Over $400 million has been spent on broken bone injuries most of which included upper extremity injuries such as fingers, elbows, hands, and forearms. While less common spine injuries, head, and rib injuries account for 4 percent of all trampoline injuries. The leading place that one becomes injured from using a trampoline is at home. Preventative measures can go a long way to both decreasing the rate of serious injury as well as lower the societal costs.
Perhaps it is the ability to fly even if for a short amount of time, or defying gravity with flips and sky high jumps, but there is something about a trampoline that makes children and adults gravitate towards the equipment. The American Academy of Pediatrics has consistently warned of the dangers of at home trampolines. Specifically warning “most trampoline injuries occur with multiple simultaneous users on the mat.” Further noting that serious injuries such as cervical spine injuries “often occur with falls off the trampoline or with attempts at somersault or flips.” Interestingly enough a 2012 American Academy of Pediatric study, entitled “Trampoline Safety in Childhood and Adolescence” found that even implemented safety measures did not have a strong enough impact on the risk of harm and accordingly “the home use of trampolines is strongly discouraged.” Similarly the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that homeowners view trampolines similar to swimming pools as far as attractive nuisance and homeowner insurance is concerned.
Steps to Prevent Trampoline Injuries:
- Solo jumpers. Trampoline use should be limited to one person on the trampoline at a time. Smaller more lightweight individuals are particular at risk when multiple jumpers are on the trampoline as they are more prone to flying in the air and colliding with other jumpers.
- Somersaults and Flips should be limited to commercial settings. While rare, devastating and long-term cervical spine injuries are directly linked to attempted flips and tricks in a home setting where there is less supervision and knowledge of proper technique.
- Check Your Equipment Regularly. If your property has a trampoline it is vital that the trampoline is level with adequate padding and aligned springs.