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child on trampoline

Trampolines are certainly fun and a great way to sneak some exercise into your day.

But…

With great fun comes responsibility, because injuries are all too common in trampoline use!That’s right.

Trampolines can be enjoyed by all ages so long as you take care to use them safely.

Still, even when you practice trampoline safety, accidents are inevitable–even with adult supervision.

Here’s the kicker:

77% of kids injured on trampolines were being watched by an adult at the time of the accident!

So, maybe it’s best to brush up on some common injuries and how you can treat them just in case you or someone else winds up biting the big one on their next bounce.

What we know:

The most common cause of trampoline-related injuries is landing incorrectly. Since you’re bouncing, landings are pretty crucial.

And unavoidable.

After all, what goes up must come down.

If the most common cause of injuries results from a bad landing, then it’s wise to know how those injuries might need to be treated.

According to the numbers…

Nearly 8% of kids who got hurt while bouncing needed in-patient treatment while more than 80% required operative interventions!

Fractures are typical consequences of trampoline accidents, hence the numbers above.

The good news is that, of accidents experienced by children, only 40% were “severe” injuries.

How can you mitigate injuries on your own trampoline?

Well, have soft mats underneath the trampoline is a good place to start. You can also make sure to set it up over a grassy area, rather than concrete or another hard surface.

Installing a net is another key safety precaution.

Having a net, supporting mats, and adult supervision are all worthwhile safety measures to take.

However…

As we said above, accidents still happen. Even with older, experienced jumpers.

To learn more about trampoline injuries, their causes, and possible treatments, we’ve compiled a convenient study on the need-to-know facts of trampoline safety below.

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Trampolines are popular among children, teens, and in a handful of cases, adults. Trampolines generally provide fun, low-impact workouts that provide people with numerous health benefits. According to Collin Linnewebber of livestrong.com, trampolines work out the following muscles:

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  • ​Abdominal muscles
  • ​Leg muscles
  • ​Thigh muscles
  • ​Buttox muscles

There is an increasing concern, however, about the overall safety of trampolines. According to a 2014 study conducted by the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, “In 2014 in the United States, there were nearly 286,000 medically treated trampoline injuries, including 104,691 emergency department visits.”

Thousands of people get injured on trampolines every year, children being the most susceptible to injury. According to healthychildren.org, children can get hurt when they:

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  • ​Land wrong after jumping
  • ​Land wrong while flipping and doing somersaults
  • ​Try stunts
  • ​Strike or get struck by another person
  • ​Fall or bounce off of the trampoline
  • ​Land on the springs or frame

Healthychildren.org goes on to talk about the most common trampoline injuries. Check them out below…

  • ​Broken bones
  • ​Concussions & other head injuries
  • ​Sprains & Strains
  • ​Bruises, scrapes, & cuts
  • ​Head & neck injuries
  • ​Minor injuries that lead to severe injuries further down the road

​Not only is it essential for us to be aware of injuries when we use trampolines, but it is also vital for us to take safety precautions and teach children safe ways to jump on trampolines.

Alarming Statistics

As previously established, the number of trampoline-related injuries continues to rise. According to a 2008 study conducted by Robert Eberl, Johannes Schalamon, Georg Singer, Sarah S Huber, Peter Spitzer, and Michael E Höllwarth, “The growing popularity of private backyard trampolines goes along with a rising number of trampoline injuries. Despite the positive effects of pleasure in activity and physical exercise, the risk of injuries related to trampolines is high” (p. 1171).

Eberl, Schalamon, Singer, Huber, Spitzer, and Höllwarth (2008) conducted a 2-year study, from 2005 to 2007, where they identified and examined 363 children who suffered from trampoline-related injuries. 46% of the of the children were boys, 54% of the children were girls. 27% of the children either chose not to respond to the questionnaire or were excluded because of incomplete data.

We found this study particularly useful, as it accounted for the demographics of injuries, circumstances of the injury, and patterns of the injuries. Check out the most alarming results from the study that stood out to us…

Demographics:

  • ​Median Age: 8.2 years – Age range of 1 to 14 years
  • ​Younger than 6 years – 25.7%
  • ​Older than 6 years – 74.3%

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​Eberl et al., (2008) went on to say, “The annual number of trampoline-related injuries increased during the course of the study, from 28 (10.6%) in 2005, to a peak of 154 (58.1%) in 2007.  Overall, the number of trampoline-associated injuries peaked from April to September, accounting for 88.7% of all cases, with the maximum of trauma in August (18.5%)” (p. 1172).

Circumstances of Injuries:

  • ​Most frequent causes of injury:
  • ​Incorrect landing – 38.5%
  • ​Collisions – 21.1%
  • ​Injuries due to contact with rigid parts on the trampoline – 12.1%
  • ​Trauma from somersaults – 11%
  • ​Being catapulted off the trampoline by others – 7.1%
  • ​Being catapulted off the trampoline alone – 6.4%
  • ​Trampoline defects – 3.9%

The safety of a trampoline can also be directly related to the make and design of the trampoline. Eberl et al., (2008) clarified, “Most injuries occurred with a trampoline diameter of 3 m (62%), whereas in 38% of our cases, the trampoline size was different ranging from 1 to 6 m” (p. 1172).

Check out further discoveries from this study involving the make and design of the trampolines in which children were injured…

  • ​56.6% of the trampolines were secured with a net
  • ​12.4% of the trampolines had mats that were put underneath the trampoline
  • ​14% of the trampolines had both net and mats.
  • ​17% of the trampolines were not protected by safety equipment at all.
  • ​61.8% of the trampolines had a grass surface underneath
  • ​26.4%, of the trampolines had mats placed underneath
  • ​4.5% of the trampolines had a concrete surface underneath and others in 7.3%

​Now let’s go one step further by looking at both how long the children had been using the trampoline before the injury, and how long they had been using trampolines altogether.

  • ​24.2% of the children had been on the trampoline less than 15 minutes prior to the injury
  • ​55.9%  of the children had been on the trampoline 15 minutes or longer
  • ​20% of the children could not precisely state the time until the injury happened
  • ​55.1% of the children had been using the trampoline for more than 1 year
  • ​40% of all injuries happened during the first year of using the trampoline
  • ​4.9% of the children had no previous experience on a trampoline
  • ​77.4% of the children were under adult supervision at the time of the accident

Injury Pattern:

​Next, let’s take a look at the injury patterns that came from this study. How severe were these injuries? What kind of injuries did these children suffer?

Severity:

  • ​40% of the injuries were classified as severe
  • ​60% of the injuries were classified as mild.

Where Did The Injuries Occur?

  • ​51.3% of the injuries came at the lower extremities of the body
  • ​28.7% of the injuries came at the upper extremities of the body
  • ​10.9% of the injuries came at the trunk, or torso of the body
  • ​9.1% of the injuries came at the head and neck region of the body
  • ​There were no spinal cord lesions in our series

Types of Injuries:

  • ​37% of the injuries were fractures
  • ​29% of the injuries were strains or sprain trauma
  • ​27% of the injuries were contusions or abrasions
  • ​4% of the injuries were ligament ruptures

Treatment:

​How quick did the authorities respond to these injuries? Also, what kind of treatment did these children receive after their injuries? Let’s take a look…

  • ​60% of the children came to the hospital within 24 hours of their injuries
  • ​In 32.1% of the cases, the Emergency Department was consulted within the first two days of the injury
  • ​7.9% of the children waited more than two days to contact authorities

Types of Treatment:

  • ​7.9% of the children and adolescents required in-patient treatment
  • ​81% of the children needed operative interventions
  • ​Fracture stabilization was performed in eight children with forearm injuries and in six children with supracondylar fractures of the humerus
  • ​Three children were operated on with lower leg injuries.

​Duration of Treatment

  • ​Duration of in-patient treatment: 3.2-day average
  • ​Duration of operative procedure treatment: 3.8-day average
  • ​Duration of non-operative treatment: 2.6-day average

Teaching Healthy Trampolining Practices

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There are devastating health complications that are the result of trampoline injuries, and despite the many measures and attempts to reduce trampoline injuries, the amount of injuries continues to increase. According to Eberl et al., (2008), “The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reported over 52,000 trampoline-related injuries in children younger than 15 years with an estimated total cost exceeding 270 million dollars in 1995. A follow-up statement in 2005 indicated more than 210,000 trampoline-related injuries in patients under 19 years of age with associated costs of more than 4 billion dollars in 2003 [1]. However, despite intensive efforts of public education to indicate the dangers of trampolining, inclusion of safety materials in the trampoline packaging, media attention, and education, these injuries continued to occur at an ever-increasing rate” (p. 1174).

If you decide to purchase a private trampoline for yourself or your children, make sure you are taking all of the necessary safety precautions. According to the Foundation For Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care, & Cure, you should be following the following safety tips when you, someone you know, or your child is using a trampoline:

  • ​Trampolines should not be used except when there is adequately trained supervision for the recreational activity. 
  • ​Trampolines should only be used in well-lighted areas, and children should never be allowed to jump onto the trampoline from high objects. 
  • ​A surrounding net may decrease the injury rate, but this has not been extensively proven yet. There is netting now available around the perimeter of trampolines. Netting has been shown to reduce the number of injuries from falls off the trampoline but should only be used with the following warnings: 1) Netting is not a substitute for adequate adult supervision; 2) Netting will not reduce nor eliminate crippling injuries and death on the surface of the trampoline itself. It has been shown to retain users in the trampoline area and for that reason alone is recommended. 
  • ​The trampoline jumping surface should be placed at ground level. 
  • ​The supporting bars, strings, and surrounding landing surfaces should have adequate protective padding. 
  • ​Trained spotters should be present when participants are jumping. 
  • ​Somersaults or high-risk maneuvers should be avoided without proper supervision and instruction; these maneuvers should be done only with the proper use of protective equipment, such as a harness. 
  • ​Use of trampolines for physical education, competitive gymnastics, diving training and other similar activities requires carefully trained adult supervision and proper safety measures. 
  • ​Competent adult supervision and instruction is needed for children at all times.

​Final Thoughts

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Trampoline injuries are no joke. It is vital for us to be aware of the harmful effects of trampolines, make sure we are preventing injuries, and telling others about trampoline injury awareness! We hope that the study and other included information in the article was useful, as we intend for it to be an educational tool to spread awareness!

Next time you are using a trampoline, make sure you are safe and are aware of any potential injuries.

Thanks for reading!