Health Team

Trampolines more dangerous than fun

Posted February 27, 2013
Updated February 28, 2013

Last summer, instead of going to the pool again, Molly Devine and her two children went to a new indoor trampoline park.

Devine was on the same trampoline as her 3-year old son Luke when he suddenly laid down in pain.

“I was like ‘Get up Luke. You’re fine.’ And he couldn’t get up,” Devine said.

He fractured his tibia bone just below the knee.

Dr. Bob Zura, an orthopaedic surgeon at Duke who treated Luke, said he's seeing more trampoline-related injuries in his clinic. Another patient was also at an indoor trampoline park when she broke and dislocated her ankle.

“It broke through her growth plate,” Zura said.

Pins and screws now hold it together.

Roughly three percent of homes in the United States have a trampoline on the property, and an estimated $280 million a year is spent by insurance companies to treat injuries caused by trampoline use.

trampoline Trampolines more dangerous than fun

Professional medical organizations offer the following guidelines for trampolines.

  • Only one person should jump on a trampoline at a time.
  • Children should be supervise by an adult.
  • Trampoline should have side netting and pads over springs.

But Zura warns that even those who take precautions can still end up with severe and catastrophic injuries.

Luke’s fracture put him in a cast for about three weeks.
Now he’s back to normal.

He and his sister, Harper, have seen the last of trampolines.

“If I were to be at someone’s home and there was a trampoline, my kids would not be jumping on it,” Devine said.


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  • kermit60 Mar 5, 2013

    But Zura warns that even those who take precautions can still end up with severe and catastrophic injuries : Is this not true with bicycles, skateboards, waterparks, swing sets, sports etc. Do we make the kids stay inside and become "couch potatoes"? Then they would become fat and that can also be " catastrophic".

  • Shadow213 Mar 1, 2013

    i truly do not understand this apparently newfound obsession over the danger of trampolines. this isn't the first article i've seen in the last four or five months and it probably won't be the last. i spent my childhood not only jumping on a trampoline, but doing so unsupervised, without all those safety nets, and backing up a slide to jump off of the top of the slide platform onto the trampoline (it was probably about a 3 foot high jump). Obviously as a kid, my friends and I probably weren't as safe as we could have been. but, then again, we never had any major injuries either. i just think our culture is overly obsessed with protecting children these days. kids will get hurt, but they'll get better and learn from it. no need to condemn a piece of play equipment that can be a great form of fun and exercise. just use some common sense.

  • RAA0013 Mar 1, 2013

    Love the title of the article – trampolines are MORE DANGEROUS than fun. And just how did they come to this conclusion?

    If we avoid everything that could possibly hurt us - we would have no sports at all and really lazy kids. I have daughters who are gymnasts and we all understand the risk in that sport of serious injury is very real. But they love it, have been taught how to be safe, and I would rather they try their skills on the trampoline in the backyard than on the sofa in the living room. Am not going to wrap my kids in bubble wrap and forbid them from having fun out of fear that maybe, possibly there is a chance something could go wrong perhaps one day when we least expect it.

  • jlturner78 Feb 28, 2013

    golorealist, good point.

    Still, I suspect that a lot of the injuries are from kids who parents do not own a trampoline or just got one and are unfamiliar with it. The article itself leads into this direction by not interviewing a single trampoline owner. I suspect most injuries are from initial, unfamiliar use of a trampoline. From my experience after an injury or watching someone else get injured on a trampoline kids will tend to respect it more and less injury will follow.

    I have no evidence to this other than my own personal experience.

    From my experience...minor injury happened when we first got the trampoline and not a single incident for the 12 years my parents had it; and we used it a lot!

    another possible solution to reduce injury rate of the "Dangerous Trampoline" is to get more kids on them and teach them respect for it. Don't we have an obese kid epidemic going on? Why attack a valid and fun form of exercise?

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Feb 28, 2013

    I agree that kids are more likely to be injured if they jump on a trampoline. They are more likely to be injured if they run instead of walk or sit, too. ...But it's okay for children to get injured. My son fell on the springs and had to get stitches on his eye brow. He learned he's not invincible, but he also learned that he is strong. He still pushes his limits, but he does consider the risks. That ability to recognize risk will serve him well when he learns to drive. And a love for active play will serve his health well.

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Feb 28, 2013

    I declair, folks are turning healthy kids of today into bonefied wimps... Or maybe the kids will surely be safer punching control buttons attached to a computer or video game and just watch a virtual kid jump up and down and do cool trampoline flips and tricks. What shall we name the trampoline video game or has it already been made? .. Let the kids get hurt from time to time, give em a swig of "tussin" and send em back out to do it again! They will eventually figure out how not to get hurt, and actually get good at doing something besides pushing buttons and flicking controls.

  • golorealist Feb 28, 2013

    "according to statistics: Trampolines: 86806 injuries in 2006 in kids under 14, 6 deaths since 1990.

    Cars: According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), nearly 250,000 children are injured every year in car accidents. approximately 2,000 die from their injuries"- jlturner78

    take those statistics and factor in how many kids are jumping on a trampoline on a regular basis and how many kids are riding in a car on a regular basis, and you'll see that those kids jumping on a trampoline have a much higher probability of being injured than those riding in a car.

  • jlturner78 Feb 28, 2013

    Soooooooooo.... I don't get this article. What does it mean? Don't get back on that horse? Once your down stay down? This person only interviewed a mother who - learned her lesson. Sooo are they saying we are bad parents if we let our kids jump on a trampoline? Why didn't they interview a parent that has a kid who jumps on a trampoline for exercise and loves it (maybe even got hurt on one at one point)to balance this article?

    I'm pretty sure cars cause more injury and actual death to kids.

    according to statistics:
    86806 injuries in 2006 in kids under 14,
    6 deaths since 1990.

    According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), nearly 250,000 children are injured every year in car accidents.
    approximately 2,000 die from their injuries

  • Canes Girl Forever Feb 28, 2013

    My child fell off our trampoline and broke her arm. We still have the trampoline. We still jump on it. Accidents happen on bikes, scooters, swings or just walking down the street.

  • friendlyman Feb 28, 2013

    while we are at it, lets just never let our kids go outside, ride bikes, swing on swings or slide down slides, just to be 'safe'