As trampoline parks have grown in popularity in recent years, so too has the number of children being treated for a trampoline-related fracture in an emergency department (ED).
The AAP recommends against recreational use of trampolines due to the danger they pose, but trampoline parks have become increasingly popular. In North America, there were nearly 400 in March 2018, up from 35 in 2011, according to “Trends in Trampoline Fractures: 2008-2017,” (Hadley-Miller N, et al. Pediatrics. Dec. 11, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-0889).
Researchers from Children’s Hospital Colorado studied injury trends on children up to age 17 using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. That data showed there were 989,338 ED visits for trampoline injuries from 2008-’17, about 27% of which were fractures. Children ages 5-9 made up the largest percentage of those with fractures, and just over half were male.
About 21.5% of fractures were to the forearm, and 18% were to the lower leg, according to the study. About 12% required hospital admission, which stayed steady during the study period.
Over the decade, trampoline-related fractures increased each year by nearly 4% per person-year. Rates per 100,000 person-years rose from 35 to 53.
The locale where injuries occurred also changed. While home was most common throughout the decade, sports and recreation facilities made up an increasing share, although authors noted this category isn’t limited to trampoline parks. In 2017, 19% of trampoline-related fractures occurred at a sports and recreation facility compared to 3.5% in 2008. The odds of a fracture occurring at such a facility increased about 32% a year, according to the study.
“As these new avenues of participation become increasingly popular,” authors wrote, “future advocacy and injury prevention campaigns should potentially broaden their focus to address the changing locale of pediatric trampoline fractures.”