Trampoline Park Injuries
The danger of trampoline usage by children was once again in the spotlight recently. A 3-year-old boy in Tampa, FL suffered a severe fracture to the bone in his upper thigh while jumping in an indoor trampoline park, requiring him to spend a significant amount of time in a body cast to help heal the injury. It is important to note that in this case, he sustained his injury solely from jumping up and down on the device, not from an accidental fall or twisting motion on his leg.
Many parents do not recognize the inherent danger associated with trampolines. Bouncing up and down on a home trampoline looks like great fun, but can be fraught with injuries, such as leg sprains, torn ligaments and fractures, head injuries, skull fractures, concussions, cervical spine injuries (neck), some of which result in spinal cord injuries. Often injuries occur when more than one person is using the trampoline simultaneously. Others occur with falls off the device, or attempts to complete flips or somersaults.
Over the past several years, indoor trampoline parks have risen in number and popularity. These places not only carry the inherent risks stated above, but also add risk due to increased risk of collision between the jumper and other participants on adjacent trampolines. Experts say that approximately 10% of children who present to the emergency department with trampoline injuries require admission to the hospital.
The American Academy of Pediatrics STRONGLY recommends AGAINST recreational trampoline use, both indoors and in back yards. However, for those who choose to disregard that recommendation, they do advise the following precautions:
1) Constant ADULT supervision (no…the teenage babysitter or older sibling does not count!)
2) Protective padding around the perimeter of the trampoline, and netting around the outside to prevent falls off the device
3) Avoid tricks like somersaults and flips on the trampoline
4) NEVER permit more than one jumper on the trampoline at a time
5) Children under 6 years of age should never use a trampoline, due to the risk of bone injury resulting from repetitive jumping up and down while using the device.