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Trampolines and Trampoline Safety

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Position Statement

Trampolines and Trampoline Safety The number and severity of injuries resulting from the use of trampolines is significant and increasing. Hospital emergency rooms treated 52,103 trampoline injuries sustained by children under age 15 in 1995. The estimated cost of medical, legal, insurance and disability costs and other expenses in 1995 was $272.6 million. Even very young children ages 5 to 9 are at risk; 19,454 injuries related to trampolines were treated in emergency rooms at a cost of $99.8 million. The most common injuries are sprains and fractures, often severe, which usually result from a fall through the trampoline or an uncontrolled maneuver. Although severe or life-threatening injuries are not common, they do occur and can result in paralysis or, rarely, death. Use of the trampoline by more than one child further increases the risk of injury through collisions among jumpers or the catapulting of jumpers off the trampoline. In an effort to reduce the number and severity of injuries resulting from the use of trampolines, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends routine observation of the following guidelines:

  • Use of trampolines for physical education, competitive gymnastics, diving training and other similar activities requires careful adult supervision and proper safety measures.
  • Trampolines should not be used for unsupervised recreational activity.
  • Competent adult supervision and instruction is needed for children at all times.
  • Only one participant should use a trampoline at any time
  • Spotters should be present when participants are jumping.
  • Somersaults or high risk maneuvers should be avoided without proper supervision and instruction; these maneuvers should be done only with proper use of protective equipment, such as a harness.
  • The trampoline jumping surface should be placed at ground level.
  • The supporting bars, strings and surrounding landing surfaces should have adequate protective padding.

Document Number: 1135 © September 1996 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons This material may not be modified without the express written permission of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. For additional information, contact Alvin Nagelberg at (847) 384-4138 or email nagelberg@mac.aaos.org