Trampolines are commonplace in many backyards across the country. Children spend countless summer hours on trampolines, but the danger of trampoline use was put back into the spotlight recently after a three-year-old boy in Florida was injured on a trampoline and required a body cast for recovery.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is warning parents against the dangers of trampolines, especially for children under six years old. This press release was issued a few years after the American Academy of Pediatrics advised against trampoline use.
Trampoline Injury Statistics
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were approximately 295,000 medically treated trampoline injuries in 2015; 102,943 of those injuries were emergency room visits. In addition, most trampoline injuries (90 percent) are sustained by children between the ages of five and 14 years. Finally, according to brainandspinalcord.org, around 20 percent of injuries to the spinal cord are caused by jumpers bumping into each other, falling on to the springs / frame, or falling completely off of the trampoline.
Because of the possibility of falling from a fairly significant height, the most common types of injuries sustained on trampolines include:
- Broken bones
- Head, neck, and spine injuries, which can lead to paralysis or death
- Ankle, knee, or shoulder sprains
- Deep cuts, scrapes, and bruises
AAOS Trampoline Safety Recommendations
In order to minimize or completely prevent trampoline injuries, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has released the following guidelines for parents and caregivers:
- Do not allow children younger than 6 years of age to use trampolines.
- Provide careful adult supervision, proper safety measures, and instruction when trampolines are used for physical education, competitive gymnastics, diving training, and other similar activities.
- Allow only one participant at a time to use a trampoline.
- Ensure that spotters are present when participants are jumping. Somersaults or high-risk maneuvers should be avoided without proper supervision and instruction; these maneuvers should be attempted only with proper use of protective equipment, such as a harness.
- Place the trampoline-jumping surface at ground level.
- Ensure that supporting bars, strings, and surrounding landing surfaces have adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed.
- Regularly check equipment for safety conditions; discard worn or damaged equipment if replacement parts are unavailable.
- Do not rely on safety net enclosures for injury prevention; most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.
- Remove trampoline ladders after use to prevent unsupervised access by young children.
If you have any questions about injuries that could result from trampoline use, please contact Greater Rochester Orthopaedics at (585) 295-5476.