Trampoline injuries occur frequently with kids. The majority of injuries occur in the 5 to 14 year age group. There is an alarming increase in the rate of hospital admissions in Canada resulting from trampoline-related injuries, mostly for fractures of the upper extremities.
The majority of trampoline injuries occur in the backyard as a result of falls on the trampoline mat, negating the notion that spotters around the outside, parental supervision or even safety enclosures can eliminate injuries. Furthermore, many injuries occur when there are multiple users on the trampoline at the same time and when there is inadequate supervision.
Numerous authors and organizations have made recommendations against the use of trampolines by children. Other organizations, such as the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Health Canada and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have recommended specific restrictions on the use of trampolines in the paediatric age group. Despite these warnings however, trampoline injury rates continue to rise.
The Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine responded by recommending that:
- Trampolines should not be used for recreational purposes at home (including cottages and temporary summer residences) by children or adolescents.
- Health care professionals, including family physicians and paediatricians, should warn parents of the dangers of trampolines as a recreational toy at routines health care visits. Parents should be advised to avoid the purchase of trampolines for the home because enclosures and adequate supervision are no guarantee against injuries.
- Trampolines should not be regarded as play equipment and should not be part of outdoor playgrounds.
- Physicians should advocate for legislation to require warnings of trampoline dangers to be on product labels.
- More research on trampoline injuries sustained in supervised settings, such as schools, gym clubs and training programs, should be conducted to assess the risk of injury in these settings.
Reference: Paediatr Child Health Vol 12 No 6 July/August 2007