-- Trampoline parks are more likely to lead to injuries than the use of home trampolines, leading to thousands of injuries every year, according to a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics.
There were nearly 100,000 emergency department visits every year related to trampoline injuries in the U.S. from 2010 to 2014, according to researchers. Even though the total number of trampoline injuries in the U.S. did not increase dramatically, there has been a marked increase in injuries at trampoline parks, the study found.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut compared the number of injuries that occurred at trampoline parks to those occurring at home from 2010 to 2014. From the data collected in U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission records, there was an increase from 581 to 6,932 trampoline park injuries over a 5-year period.
The most common trampoline injuries in both groups were sprains and fractures. Children under the age of 6 made up almost half of those with fractures, specifically lower extremity fractures, at the trampoline parks.
During this time, there were also more hospital admissions from the injuries and several cases of spinal cord injuries after doing flips at trampoline parks. However, researchers found fewer head injuries occurred at trampoline parks when compared to home trampoline injuries.
As the number of trampoline parks have increased more than 10 fold in the U.S., researchers are concerned injuries could continue to rise.
Dr. Jerri Rose, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, said she's seen plenty of broken bones from trampolines.
“We have had several patients coming with fractures from home and trampoline parks," she said.
She said these injuries are seasonal, with more home trampoline accidents occurring in the summer and trampoline park accidents in the winter.
However, she said she hasn't seen a big difference in the number of injuries related to home trampolines compared to trampoline parks.
The authors of the study do state that there is no way to determine the risk of injury with using trampolines at home or at a park.
“The safest way to ensure no injuries is for children not to use trampolines recreationally at all,” Rose said, referring to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement on trampoline safety.
However, if you do choose to go to recreational trampoline centers, the AAP suggests to take safety measures that include constant adult supervision, adequate protective padding, one jumper per trampoline, and avoidance of flips and somersaults.
Dr. Amber Robins is a family medicine resident physician at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry who is currently working at ABC News in the Medical Unit. She is also a current MBA student at Louisiana State University-Shreveport.