Trampolines are causing growing number orthopedic injuries - study

More than a quarter of trampoline injuries in one hospital required surgery to fix the damage.

 Kids on a trampoline. (photo credit: PEXELS)
Kids on a trampoline.
(photo credit: PEXELS)

The number of Israeli children suffering from orthopedic trauma as a result of jumping on trampolines – small ones indoors, large ones in gardens, on balconies and at Gymborees – has increased significantly in recent years. Large trampolines were responsible for half of the cases, which resulted in even more serious injuries, according to a new study at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva. 

Writing in the latest issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ), Drs. Lee Fuchs, Eyal Mercado, Paz Kedem, Tali Becker and Daniel Weigl wrote that in their hospital alone between 2015 and 2018, of the more than 23,000 admissions for orthopedic trauma, there were 246 injuries caused to children from trampolines. Almost half were bone fractures. More than a quarter required surgery. Lower limbs were injured in 130 children, upper limbs in 87, spine in 20 and the rest in other parts of the body.

Children up to the age of six were more likely to be injured in their lower limbs and older youngsters in their upper limbs

Trampolines were first introduced in 1936 by a circus acrobat, but they became popular for recreational use in the 1950s. Parents buy small ones for one child at a time, but more recently, the purchase of large outdoor ones has grown, with several children jump simultaneously, increasing the danger.

Large indoor trampoline parks exist in almost every shopping center. These, according to the authors, make them “particularly dangerous because of the large jumping spaces they offer and the many individuals, often of various ages and sizes, participating at the same time. 

GET KEEN on a trampoline. (credit: FLAVIUS LES AND MARTIN MAGNEMYR/UNSPLASH)GET KEEN on a trampoline. (credit: FLAVIUS LES AND MARTIN MAGNEMYR/UNSPLASH)

Have any children died on trampolines?

Over a period of nine years in the US, there were 22 deaths due to trampoline play. Since the hospital survey was completed, trampoline jumping has become even more widespread, they wrote, not only here but also abroad. In Australia, three new Gymborees open every month. 

The experts recommend that children under six not be allowed to use them. If several older children use a trampoline, they must be of similar age and size, and safety nets must surround the devices. Close parental supervision like at swimming pools is mandatory. Ladders should not be used at all, and kids should be discouraged from doing somersaults or other stunts while jumping, they concluded.