Trampoline-related E.R. visits more than double in two decades

By Staff Writer • Published: August 28th, 2015
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Between 2002 and 2011, emergency room visits for injuries from trampoline-related accidents in the United States cost more than $1 billion.

Yes, $1 billion. That’s according to a study by Indiana University researchers. The cost of visits for broken bones alone reached $408 million. The study revealed another astonishing fact: Between 1991 and 2011, the number of E.R. visits linked to trampolines each year more than doubled.

Sure, your mom warned you when you were a youngster about the perils of trampolines, but did you ever think they were really this dangerous? Probably not.

The study, which focused on fractured bones, said 95 percent of these cases occurred at home. For people with a trampoline in the backyard, that statistic should be a red flag. To protect your family and friends, it’s worth spending some time and money to make your trampoline as safe as possible.

Here are some tips for trampoline safety, starting with the spot where you place the bouncing bastion of fun. Your trampoline absolutely must be on level ground and should not be close to trees or other structures that someone could hit if things go awry. Placing it in a pit is the safest way to install a trampoline because the jumping surface is even with the ground, says one Mayo Clinic pediatrician.

Next, place a specially designed net around the trampoline to keep jumpers from landing somewhere else. Cover all areas of the trampoline except the bouncy part with pads, and check these for damage regularly. Other tips are parenting basics: Supervise your kids when they jump and don’t allow any risky, high-flying maneuvers.

Even with safeguards, injuries are still possible. Perhaps the most important thing to know is this: The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says home trampolines are a bad idea.