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Trampoline Safety

 

George Nissen, a competitive gymnast, patented the modern trampoline as a “tumbling device” in 1945. Nissen initially designed the trampoline as a training tool for acrobats and gymnasts and subsequently promoted it for military aviator training. Recreational use of trampolines is a more recent phenomenon, driven primarily by the increased availability of relatively inexpensive trampolines marketed for home use.

The concern is not only falls off the trampoline to the ground but also the force created in the trampoline.  There is just as much Gs of force on the body and joints at the bottom of the spring as there are if you fell off the roof.  It is not a sudden impact but the ligaments and bones can still tear or break.  Approximately 1/1000 children are injured on them every tear… but that is the total population of children.  It is more realistically 1/50 kids who use trampolines.  The problem is that just jumping straight up and down by yourself is boring fast.  The injuries are when they summersault, flip, or jump with more than one child on the trampoline.  The fence around the trampoline to prevent falling off helps some.  The padding has not been shown to decrease injuries.

The injuries are ankle sprain or fracture, fracture of the arms, head and/or neck injuries (accounted for 15%  of all injuries, and 0.5% resulted in permanent neurologic damage), cervical spine injuries, back strains with constant back pain, breast bone fracture or dislocation, vertebral artery dissections, and fracture of the tibia bone. 

 

There are now trampoline parks which are not regulated at all.  There is no fence around them as you can see in this web site.  http://altitudetrampolinepa1.reachlocal.net/page.cfm?pageid=31967

The AAP and myself do not recommend any use of the trampoline.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/4/774.full?sid=0fd76a3f-2ca9-4069-9960-8c889def313a

Roger Knapp MD