Jumping on a trampoline may seem like a fun and easy way to get exercise. However, trampoline-related injuries can be serious, particularly when they involve injuries to the head and neck.
Before allowing children to use a trampoline, parents should understand the risks and should teach children about trampoline safety.
Before parents say “yes” when their child asks to get a trampoline or go to an indoor trampoline park, they should understand the potential risks of using a trampoline. Trampoline-related injuries can include:
These injuries may require surgery and/or admission to the hospital.
Although children can be seriously injured by falling off a trampoline, many children are injured on the trampoline itself by:
There are no Canadian regulations on the design and construction of trampolines. There are also no mandatory regulations for indoor trampoline park construction or maintenance, number of staff, staff training, or reporting of injuries. ASTM International has developed a standard for trampoline components, assembly, instructions, and warnings to be provided with the product. You can check your trampoline for an ASTM label.
Having a net around a trampoline is not enough to keep children safe. In fact, many nets are not installed or used properly (e.g., not closed all the way), meaning that children can still fall off the trampoline. Children may also be more likely to take part in risky jumping when there is a net (e.g., multiple jumpers, pushing and shoving while jumping, flips and other tricks).
Although indoor trampoline parks often do not have hazards like springs or frames, the trampoline beds typically have a higher tensile strength (i.e., harder jumping mats) which results in a more jarring stop and an increased pressure on the jumpers’ bones and joints.
Trampoline injuries can result in visits to the emergency department and hospitalizations.
children under the age of 20 visited an emergency department
Between 2017 and 2018, 426 Saskatchewan children and youth under the age of 20 visited a participating Saskatchewan emergency department* with a trampoline-related injury.**
of these injuries were considered significant
children under the age of 20 were admitted to the hospital
Between 2009 and 2013, 189 children under the age of 20 were admitted to the hospital with trampoline-related injuries. Trampoline-related injuries were responsible for 42% of all playground-related fall hospitalizations in this time period.***
* The participating emergency departments come from main centres in the previous health regions of Regina Qu’Appelle, Saskatoon, Prince Albert Parkland, and Prairie North. These represent just over 50% of all emergency department visits in Saskatchewan, meaning that the true number of trampoline-related emergency department visits is most likely higher than what is reported here.
** Data source is the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) and was provided by the Acute Care and Emergency Services Branch of the Ministry of Health. Data analysis was provided by the Public Health Observatory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Due to the high number of trampoline-related injuries from both backyard trampolines and indoor trampoline parks, the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine state that trampolines should not be used for recreational purposes at home and should not be seen as play equipment. Instead, these organizations suggest that trampolines should only be used as part of a structured training program with appropriate coaching, supervision, and safety measures in place.
If parents choose to let their children use trampolines, following these recommendations can help to reduce the risk of serious injury: