Trampoline Injuries Are An EPIDEMIC!

Many parents purchase trampolines for their children, believing that trampolines are toys that will provide hours of outdoor fun for kids. What many do not realize, says, is that home-use trampolines actually cause most of the overall trampoline-related injuries, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has gone so far as to recommend that parents never purchase trampolines for homes and never allow their children to jump on trampolines at someone else’s home.Types of Injuries

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons’ position statement on trampolines and trampoline safety reports that the majority of trampoline-related injuries are fractures and sprains. Less common are severe injuries, but those that occur can cause paralysis or death. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ AAP News adds cuts, strains and spinal damage to the list of potential injuries and says that boys and girls are injured at approximately the same rate.

A search of the medical literature failed to reveal any articles that discuss pediatric injuries acquired on privately owned recreational trampolines. This study was undertaken to quantify and qualify pediatric injuries from recreational trampoline use. A group of 114 patients who presented to the Emergency Department at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, with injuries directly related to use of a trampoline are discussed. There was a 1.2:1 male-female ratio. The average age was 8.0 years. Forty-eight percent of the patients were injured on their family’s trampoline, with the remainder injured on a friend’s, neighbors, relatives, or gymnasium’s equipment. The majority of injuries involved group use of the trampoline and the youngest person in a group was most often the injured participant. Extremity injuries were seen in 55% of the patient and head or neck injuries in 37%. Seventy-five percent of the patients required radiographs, 23% hospitalization, and 17% operative intervention. The history of the trampoline and medical literature discussions concerning injuries and safety are reviewed.

The best way to protect children is to encourage parents not to use a trampoline or at least to supervise the child at all times. There are several regions of the spine with which we should be concerned when a child has been injured from trampoline usage. Upper cervical trauma, sacral injury (similar to repetitive-stress syndrome) and flexion-extension injury to the lumbar spine all may be consequences of trampoline use. Should the child have moderate to severe complaints, it warrants taking radiographs and including orthopedic and neurological testing.