This post is a full guide on trampoline injuries over the past few years. I have used some studies done over the years to uncover details and statistics of various trampoline injuries such as head injuries and back injuries, among others.
In recent years, we have witnessed trampoline jumping exploding in popularity as a recreational sport – high popularity compared to other periods in its history. It has become a favorite sport for kids and young people all over the U.S. Nowadays, parents buy trampolines and place them in their backyard, believing it’s an excellent gear for outdoor fun for their children. You will also find trampolines in outdoor playgrounds, parks, and physical education classes. I recently reviewed the best trampolines for kids with all the safety features you need.
With the rise of trampoline popularity, also came an increase in the number of trampoline-related injuries. In 2018, there were more than 300,000 medically treated trampoline injuries, according to a report given by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
7 Vital Trampoline Injury Statistics
We all have been heard time and again, health experts discouraging the use of trampolines by anyone without first being trained under supervision because it poses great danger, especially to kids.
Children so far account for the largest group that frequently uses trampolines at home. As a result, it is also the group that experiences the highest number of severe injuries, including spinal cord, head, and neck trauma. Pediatricians have continued to warn that trampolines pose the highest risk for children to be using them.
Check out the following shocking statistics; perhaps you will be convinced to stay away from trampolines:
- Trampolines account for 100,000 injuries each year. Between 2002 and 2011, trampoline injuries saw more than 1 million people reporting in emergency rooms with almost 300,000 having broken bones.
- 93% of fractures are suffered by children below the age of 16, from trampoline use.
- ¾ of all trampoline injuries occur when several people are jumping at the same time. Often times, it is the smaller children who are at a higher risk of being injured when several kids jump at the same time. A fifth of trampoline spinal injuries occur from collision during a stunt or a fall when there multiple jumpers.
- About 15% of trampoline injuries happen to children below 6 years. 37% of all patients that report to the emergency rooms are young children. They experience the highest risk of serious injuries, including leg and spine fractures.
- One in 200 injuries results in permanent neurological damage. The most common injuries are sprains, strains, and contusions, with 40% of them being trampoline-related.
- 4 percent of trampoline injuries require being admitted in the hospital to recover.
- More than 95% of fractures happen while being at home. Medical authorities discourage all use of trampolines at home.
We highly urge you not to use a trampoline at home, even better, get rid of it. If you still insist on using, do not allow your kids to jump without supervision. Also, ensure it has sufficient padding on the supporting bars and landing surfaces and only let one person to jump at a time.
Results from 2002 to 2011 Study-National Database on Fractures Caused By Trampolines
Aim: This study was conducted to determine patterns from trampoline fractures in a large population.
Trampoline injuries data was obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database. The data queried was from trampoline injuries cases that happened between the years 2002-2011.
The patients were analyzed by age, race, injured location on the body, geographical location of the injury, and outlook from the emergency department (E.D.).
Statistical analyses were done using SUDAAN 10 software.
- The emergency department reported an estimated 1,002,735 visits for trampoline-related injuries, with 29% (288,876) sustaining fractures.
- The average age for patients who sustained injuries was 9.5 years; 92.7% being children age 16 years and below.
- 51.7% were male.
- 95.1% of the injuries occurred at home.
- 9.9% of the patients were admitted.
Body parts affected:
Upper extremity (59.9%), lower extremity (35.7%), and axial skeleton (4.4%-spine 1.0%, skull/face-2.9%, rib/ sternum 0.5%)
Those who sustained the axial skeleton injuries were older (16. 5 yrs.) than those with upper extremity (8.7 yrs.) or lower extremity injuries (10.0 yrs.), and were more frequently male(67.9%)0.0001). Lower extremity fractures were more frequently female (54.0%) 0.0001)
In the upper extremity, forearm (37%) and elbow (19%) were most common, with elbow fractures being the most frequently admitted (20.0%). In contrast, the tibia/fibula (39.5%) and ankle (31.5%) were most common in the lower extremity, with femur fractures being the most frequently admitted (57.9%). The most common locations in the spine were cervical (36.4%) and lumbar (24.7%), with cervical fractures being the most frequently admitted (75.6%).
When the total cost for trampoline injuries undertaken by the emergency department over the ten years was calculated, it was approximately $1.002 billion and $408 million for fractures.
Trampoline fractures most frequently occur in the upper extremity, followed by the lower extremity.
The study observed that children incur more than 90% of trampoline injuries.
Trampoline injuries place a substantial financial burden on society.
More efforts for prevention are needed.
Causes of Trampoline Injuries
Research has shown that the majority of trampoline injuries occur at home, but they also happen in jump parks, where they tend to be more severe. The severity is mostly because there are usually less coordinated falls and high- flying maneuvers. Generally speaking, more than 90% of these trampoline injuries are sustained by children, especially between 5 and 14 years old. Trampoline injuries happen when:
- Collision, when two or more children are jumping at the same time.
- When one falls on the trampoline mat, frame or springs
- When attempting to do somersaults, flips, and other risky stunts and they go wrong
- When one falls off the trampoline onto a hard ground/surface such as concrete. Read why you shouldn’t put your trampoline on concrete here.
Types of Injuries
- Head and neck trauma
- Scrapes and grazes on face or other body parts
Injury Prevention/Tips to Be Safe
To reduce the incidences and severity of trampoline injuries, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends the following:
- Maintain your trampoline
Before use, ensure that the trampoline’s frame, springs, and landing surfaces have an adequate cushion for protection. Also, make sure they are in good condition and properly aligned.
Conduct regular checks on the equipment for any tears, detachments, or deterioration in condition. Replace any parts that may be worn out, and in case no replacement parts are available, discard the whole thing.
- Supervise and use caution
- Do not let children who are below 6 years old to use a trampoline
- Provide instructions and close adult supervision and ensure the safety measures are followed at all times. Close supervision is critical, whether it is recreational trampoline jumping, competitive gymnastics, diving training, or during physical education classes.
- Allow only one person at a time in the trampoline
- Do not rely solely on the safety net enclosure to prevent injuries; most injuries occur on the mat of the trampoline.
- Make sure spotters are present whenever jumping is taking place
- Do not allow somersaults and other high-risk maneuvers to be done without proper supervision and instructions.
- Make sure that participants are wearing their protective gears e.g. a harness, especially if attempting the high-risk maneuvers.
- Always place the trampoline at the ground; falls from higher surfaces cause more significant risks of injuries.
- Remove trampoline ladders after use; this will prevent kids from climbing in again without supervision.
Treating Trampoline Injuries
Most of the people who get trampoline injuries usually report to the emergency department in a hospital within twenty-four hours. Some emergency doctors are comfortable putting casts on displaced fractures and then follow up with your family physician. Other doctors who have less experience might prefer to transfer children with trampoline injuries to a pediatrician. But before the transfer, the emergency doctor will have to verify that the child’s neurological status is intact and bandage the fracture.
Children with the femur or cervical fractures are most certainly admitted for treatment. 20 to 30 percent of children, who incur trampoline injuries, require surgical interventions. For those with supracondylar fracture of the humerus, they are treated automatically with surgery.
Some doctors will need to examine the x-rays of the affected area and discuss with you on particular treatment plan depending on the specific fracture. Alternatively, they could also discuss the possibility of transfer, if they think the fracture needs interventions that are not available in the hospital.
Common Trampoline Back Injuries
Muscle Strains: a lot of trampoline users experience back pain due to muscle strains. This occurs when one performs a sudden movement before the body has prepared to use the back stabilizer muscles, resulting in tension. The stabilizer muscles are engaged before a movement to protect the spine. The sudden tensing is what causes muscle strain and pain.
Spinal injury: these injuries mostly happen, especially if one falls off a trampoline. They may get a spinal joint dislocation or a vertebral fracture. Also, if one had preexisting disc degeneration and got a jarring from jumping on a trampoline, the problem will be exacerbated, leading to nerve damage that weakness and numbness in arms or feet.
Trampoline foot injuries
Most trampoline-related injuries that occur on the foot include sprains such as a sprained ankle. Sprains on ankles occur when the ligaments overstretch from a sudden or twisted movement when the foot rolls over. Some people also suffer severe fractures on the foot or ankle, also referred to as the trampoline ankle. They are caused high impact jumps maneuvers when you land on your foot the wrong way.
Trampoline neck injuries
Most trampoline users with neck injuries include neck sprains or a broken neck.
Neck sprains are stretches or tearing of the soft tissues in the neck area when one does a sudden movement; it causes the neck to bend to an extreme position.
One can also break their neck when doing stunts or somersaults, and they land the wrong way. It could cause paralysis or even death in the worst-case scenario.
Trampoline head injuries
The most common head injury jumpers get on a trampoline are concussions. It happens when one receives a hard blow to the head. A jumper can get these hard blows from a fall, being thrown off a trampoline, collision when there are multiple participants or striking one’s head on hard parts of the trampoline.
Other times there are people who have experienced trauma in the brain, which is a dire situation. Brain trauma injuries can happen when one does high jumping, attempts flips, and other maneuvers that cause loss of balance and the person landing on their head.
Trampoline park injuries
Trampoline parks usually have multiple trampolines joined together and typically have multiple participants jumping simultaneously. For the last decade, trampoline parks have become favorite recreational centers for children and teens, with U.S. currently having more than 800 trampoline arenas. Emergency departments have seen a growing number in visits due to injuries occurring at trampoline parks; injuries have gone from 581 cases to 6932 within four years, most victims often being children. Most common injuries from trampoline parks include:
- Hand and wrist fractures
- Sprained ankles
- Facial grazes
- Broken arms and legs
- Neck and back cervical injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
The video below has more details on the rise of trampoline park injuries:
Trampoline injuries kneel/ leg
Young children below the age of six are the most likely to experience knee and leg injuries when jumping on a trampoline. The child can experience acute knee pain and be unable to stand on their feet. It usually happens if they were jumping with a heavier participant at the same time. What happens is that the upward bending of the trampoline mat after a jump by the heavier person exerts increased axial force on the delicate child’s proximal tibia resulting in tibia fracture.
Trampoline injuries of the cervical spine
Cervical spine injuries are some of the most detrimental of all injuries one can sustain from jumping on a trampoline. They can result if one falls off the trampoline, attempting stunts and flips that go wrong, or impact with a horizontal surface. The outcomes of these injuries could be paraplegia, quadriplegia, or even death.
Worst trampoline injuries
The worst trampoline injuries are those that affect the head and neck. They can cause lasting, devastating outcomes such as paralysis or death.
Trampoline Injuries Australia
Reports have shown that there are more than 3,000 trampoline-related injuries in Australia each year. This makes trampolines a major contributor to product-related injuries in Australia. It translates to at least eight people a day incurring injuries from being in a trampoline. The injuries reported include upper and lower bone fractures, head injuries, and contusions of the skin.
Peloton Trampoline Injury
On April 2021, a video was posted online by the Consumer Protection Agency showing a baby that got into a trampoline accident. This followed a case where a child who was using Peloton’s trampoline died. were quickly withdrawn from stores following a directive from the Consumer Protection Agency. Read more about the story here.
Watch the video below:
Peloton responded to the warning by the Consumer Protection Agency saying, “there’s no reason to stop using the treadmill as long as children and pets are kept away from it at all times, it is turned off when not in use, and a safety key is removed.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How many trampoline injuries per year?
According to reports by Consumer Product Safety, there are more than 100,000 trampoline-related injuries reported each year.
What causes most trampoline injuries?
The most common cause of trampoline injuries in children is having two or more people jumping at the same time in a trampoline, and they collide. For teenagers and adults, injuries are associated with attempting flips, somersaults, and other risky stunts that go wrong or falling off the trampoline to hard ground.
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Mary Stephens is our infant development and baby fun activities specialist here at Motherhood HQ. She has over 10 years of experience dealing with kids, previously as a K3 teacher and now as a K9-12 teacher specializing in physical education and Social Studies. She is certified to teach in New York and Massachusetts and when not teaching trampoline jump tricks or giving toddler safety guides, she enjoys writing and providing helpful guides to parents on baby fun activities from infancy to toddlerhood. Mary is also an independent consultant providing parents with fun activities at home and appropriate toys and baby gear for infants and toddler development. She can be reached at her email, mary.s(at)motherhoodhq.com.