A recently published study which was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 National Conference & Exhibition, highlights the incidence of trampoline-related fractures increasing by an annual average of 3.85% in the U.S between 2008 and 2017. A potential driver behind those increases are trampoline injuries outside of the home at recreation or sport centers.
Increase in recreational trampoline popularity coincides with increase in injuries
The team at Children’s Colorado led by Nancy Hadley-Miller, MD used the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to study the increasing incidence of injuries from trampolines in children who have broken bones.
The growing popularity of trampoline entertainment/exercise businesses — which are often advertised as places to hold birthday parties and other child activities — coincides with an increase in trampoline injuries, in particular, the injuries that occurred outside of the home.
Researchers found that every year during the study it was 32% more likely that a child’s trampoline-related bone fracture occurred at a recreation facility or gym, rather than on a trampoline in the backyard.
Trampoline injuries have long been a substantial contributor to broken bones in children, and this study suggests the popularity of new trampoline parks may be contributing to the increased incidence of trampoline fractures. Research showed that trampoline-related fractures accounted for 3.59% of pediatric fractures in 2008. By 2017, trampoline injuries caused 6.16% of all broken bones in children.
Focus of injury prevention advocacy may need to shift
“While trampolines are a great source of fun and exercise for children, the potential for injury, particularly in recreational areas with an underlying business incentive, needs to be recognized by parents and health care providers,” said study author Dr. Nancy Hadley-Miller. “Historically, advocacy campaigns have focused on trampoline injuries in the home. However, our study indicates that future messages to parents and legislators should also focus on injuries that happen in these entertainment facilities and businesses outside of the home.”
Additional research is needed to understand all factors driving the recent surge in trampoline-related fracture incidence and shifting trends in locale of fracture. Future advocacy campaigns should consider all avenues of trampoline participation in their prevention efforts.