Visiting a trampoline park is a popular activity for indoor active fun on a hot summer day, but safety needs to be a priority as broken bones and other serious injuries can occur during trampoline use. In the article below, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Joanna Horstmann shares important information about safety precautions and related risks:
Not recommended for home use
Did you know… the trampoline was originally invented as a specialized tool designed to train gymnasts, acrobats and military pilots? During the last two decades, trampoline use has become more popular as a recreational activity. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions families against home use of trampolines and suggests safety precautions for commercial jump parks.
“One at a time” and other safety tips
If your child is heading to a trampoline “jump park” or playing on a trampoline in your backyard or a friend’s backyard, always follow these precautions:
- Supervise children on the trampoline at ALL times.
- Be sure children avoid somersaults, flips and other dangerous stunts.
- Only allow a single participant on the trampoline at a time.
- Make sure the trampoline is secured and anchored to the ground properly.
- Inspect trampoline parts and surroundings regularly.
- Make sure protective padding is in good condition and repair any broken parts before use.
- Remove ladders when done using the trampoline.
It’s also important to remind children of safety precautions before they jump, every time. When talking with kids about trampoline safety, be sure to:
Stress the importance of “one at a time” as most injuries occur when there is more than one person using a trampoline.
Have a “no somersaults/no flips” rule. According to the AAP, failed attempts at somersaults and flips frequently cause spine injuries, resulting in permanent and devastating consequences.
Know the facts
The forces that make the trampoline fun are also responsible for injuries that can be sustained while jumping on the trampoline. A 2014 study* found that during the last decade over one million emergency department visits were due to trampoline-related injuries. Nearly 30 percent of those visits were for a fracture (broken bone). Here are [some] additional facts about trampoline injuries:
- 75 percent of injuries occur when multiple children are jumping on the trampoline at once. The smallest child is at greatest risk.
- The arm is the most common site of injury, accounting for up to 60 percent of trampoline injuries. These injuries include sprains, fractures and dislocations.
- Nearly 40 percent of injuries result from falling off the trampoline.
- Injury patterns differ by age, but children younger than 6 are at highest risk for being hurt.
- Head and neck injuries account for 10 percent of trampoline use injuries and are the most frightening. These range in severity from concussions and neck and skull fractures to spinal cord injuries, and can result in permanent brain damage and paralysis.
*Study on fractures from trampolines: Loder, JPO 2014.