Originally posted here by Dr. Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist

Trampoline fun

Kids (and adults) of all ages cannot seem to resist the allure of trampolines! Although sky-high jumping and daring flips and stunts may seem like a fun and easy way to exercise or occupy those lazy afternoons, parents should be aware that recreational trampoline use can lead to increased injuries!

Each year, trampoline-related injuries result in nearly 100,000 emergency department visits annually.1  Recent safety measures have not significantly reduced injury rates, and potential, life-threatening and catastrophic injuries can occur. Falls (on the mat and off the trampoline), collisions (with other jumpers, on the frame/springs or with surrounding hazards) and unsupervised flips and stunts are the leading causes of trampoline-related injuries.

Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Scrapes and bruises
  • Lacerations (deep cuts) that typically need stitches
  • Sprains/strains
  • Joint dislocations
  • Fractures (broken bones) that may need surgery
  • Concussions and other head injuries
  • Neck fractures and spinal cord injuries

Although the majority of trampoline accidents and injuries continue to occur on home trampolines, the rapid growth and popularity of commercial jump parks has contributed to a drastic rise in trampoline park injuries. In a new study recently published in Pediatrics2, authors found the estimated U.S. emergency department visits for trampoline park injuries increased from 581 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014. Additionally, patients injured at trampoline parks suffered more severe and debilitating injuries and required hospitalization.    

Whether in your home’s backyard or at an indoor trampoline park, parents should remember recreational trampoline use carries significant risk of injury to children! Even with the presence of excessive padding, net enclosures, and on-site, trampoline park staff, parents should not be lulled into a false sense of security. When allowing children to jump on a trampoline (without a coach or trained expert), parents should remember to:

  • Constantly supervise their child(ren) and keep younger children either off the trampoline or in a designated area separate from older, bigger kids
  • Ensure only one jumper is on the trampoline at a time
  • Prohibit pushing, rough housing, flips, somersaults and stunts
  • Check and replace/repair home trampoline equipment and purchase an insurance rider to cover trampoline-related injuries
  • Ensure trampoline parks have and are enforcing safety guidelines that prevent trampoline-related injuries and are performing regular safety and maintenance checks on all trampoline-equipment

Children should be encouraged to stay physically active…but, parents should exercise caution if allowing their children to jump on trampolines! The risk of severe injury is not minimal, and there are a variety of other fun activities and sports that will keep children’s’ minds and bodies healthy!

  1. Loder RT, Schultz W, Sabatino M. Fractures from trampolines: results from a national database, 2002 to 2011. J Pediatr Orthop. 2014;34(7):683-690
  2. Kasmire KE, Rogers SC, Sturm JJ. Trampoline Park and Home Trampoline Injuries. Pediatrics. 2016;138(2)e20161236

About Dr. Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist

I am a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Texas Children’s Hospital Main and West Campuses, and am board certified in both pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine.

My academic interests include: patient and family-centered care, physician/patient communication and patient satisfaction.