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.
The AAP and myself do not recommend any use of the
Roger Knapp MD