HCN News & Notes

Emergency-room Visits Jump as Trampoline Parks Gain in Popularity

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — Trampoline parks have become increasingly popular in recent years, leading to a soaring number of emergency-room visits for injuries sustained at these recreational venues, according to a new study in the September 2016 issue of Pediatrics.

The study, “Trampoline Park and Home Trampoline Injuries,” found that U.S. emergency-room visits for park-related injuries rose to 6,932 in 2014, up from 581 in 2010. Patients injured at trampoline parks were more likely to be males, average age 13, and their injuries frequently involved lower-extremity sprains and fractures. Serious injuries included open fractures and spinal cord injuries. While less likely to sustain head injuries than those injured on home trampolines, patients injured at trampoline parks showed higher odds of hospital admission, according to the research.

Study authors call for additional investigation and strategies to prevent injury at trampoline parks, where safety guidelines vary from park to park. While most trampoline injuries occur at home — with an average of 91,750 emergency-room visits per year from 2010 to 2014 — those numbers did not vary over the study period as opposed to the rise in park-related injuries.

In 2011, about 35 to 40 trampoline parks existed in the U.S., compared with 280 in 2014, according to the International Assoc. of Trampoline Parks. The association estimates that five or six new parks open every month. An AAP policy statement on trampoline safety recommends against children’s recreational trampoline use, but states that if they are used, safety measures should include constant adult supervision, adequate protective padding, one jumper per trampoline at a time, and avoidance of flips and somersaults.

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