Many homes in America today have trampolines in the backyard. Trampolines are lots of fun for young children, but these fun contraptions can sometimes result in serious injuries for young users. Over the past few years, there has been a spike in trampoline related injuries. So, do trampolines lead to a higher chance of a visit to the emergency room? Are at home trampolines different than trampoline parks? And is it safe to have a trampoline at home?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, trampolines result in about 100,000 emergency room visits each year. Many children are injured by crashing into others on the trampoline at the same time as them, or falling on the mat or springs around the trampoline. However, more serious injuries including damage to the skull or spinal cord are more likely to occur while using a trampoline. Using a trampoline is more likely to lead to injury, and the use of trampolines by children poses a significant risk to their health.
According to CNN, the recent spike in trampoline related injury is largely related to the growing popularity of trampoline parks in the United States. More and more of these wall to wall trampoline filled rooms are popping up all over the country. A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that the number of trampoline related injuries rose from 581 in the year 2010, to 6,932 in 2014. 2014 is about the time when trampoline parks started gaining popularity. It can be concluded that the rise in trampoline related injuries is largely in part due to indoor trampoline parks. The most common types of injuries obtained at trampoline parks are sprains and fractures. The study also showed that those injured at parks were more likely to have injury to the lower extremities, while injuries from at-home trampoline use were more likely to involve the head. So park related injuries are more common, but often not as serious as injuries obtained from home trampoline use. Obviously, it is clear that using a trampoline, no matter what form, increases one’s chance of injury. It is possible that these results are due to chance, but again, that is very unlikely given the data and the results of the experiment.
So, keeping the results of the study in mind, is it safe to have a trampoline at home? The study states that if there is a trampoline at home, safety measures should be implemented to ensure that nobody is injured. First, only one person at a time should use the trampoline, to reduce the risk of collision with other jumpers. Children should also use padding when jumping on a trampoline to ensure that collision with the springs or trampoline mat does not lead to serious injury. Finally, younger trampoline users should be under adult supervision at all times while using the trampoline. Hopefully, if people are smarter about how they use trampolines, the number of injures will lessen. Trampolines are fun, but not when a child ends up in the emergency room because of one. As they say, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”.