No Fun Nurse: Never Ever Jump on a Trampoline
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, you might have spent a lot of time jumping on a trampoline. With no net. Or spring covers. You probably launched your little brother as high into the air as you could, and your dad might have done the same to you.
Chicken Little Reasoning
We have a trampoline, mostly because my husband’s fun, laid-back spirit often clashes with my hyper-vigilant, safety-conscious one and we are often forced to compromise. I insist on a net which makes me feel a little better. As the “chicken little” parent, I don’t yell that the sky is falling. Instead, I lecture about all the various ways the sky could fall. My very active imagination generates infinite ways my children might be maimed or killed. This isn’t a choice of mine: it just happens. These might be called intrusive thoughts…but that’s a different issue.
Off the Top of My Head
When my children are jumping on the trampoline, I picture the following:
- They bang their faces into each other and knock out their teeth/break each other’s noses/get concussions.
- They launch someone too high and when they come back down, they break their arm/leg/neck.
- The net rips and they cut themselves on the springs/fall off and break something.
- They launch each other so high that they go over the net.
- They break their neck playing crack the egg. (I sucked at crack the egg. Chickened out every time. Pun intended.)
- One spring pops off and flies into someone’s eye.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
Trampoline Accident Stats
Let’s talk numbers. How many kids get injured on trampolines? Are a bunch of overexcited medical professionals just trying to scare everyone? Well, here are the evidence-based facts.
In a study done in 2014, 66% of trampoline injuries occurred at home as opposed to a trampoline park. However, 55% of severe injuries happened at trampoline parks, beating out home trampolines by 10%. In a nutshell, you’re slightly less likely to get hurt at a trampoline park, but if you get injured, it may be more severe.
One study from 2020 found that over the 12 years the study was done, they saw a 130% increase in tibial (lower leg) fractures, some of which affected the child’s growth. These fractures are quite specific to trampoline injuries. Many injuries were a result of several jumpers using the trampoline at the same time.
A quick note on neck-breaking: in researching this article, breaking necks doesn’t seem to happen that often. (0.7% in a study done last year) So that’s a win for us worriers.
I Know Everyone Will Still Use Trampolines
I’m well aware no one will get rid of their trampoline after reading this. And I get it. That thing was expensive. The kids love it. Jumping around the yard just isn’t the same. And you might think, hey it gets them active, right? Yes, getting your kids off the couch in the digital age is a real win. Let me leave you with a few parting suggestions from the AAP and AAOP:
- Use a net enclosure but keep your kids from bouncing against it.
- If possible, have your jumping surface at ground level. (Ok, stop laughing.)
- Stick around and watch for unsafe behavior.
- Make sure bars and springs have protective padding.
- Don’t let kids under six jump on trampolines. (I know this one’s tough.) If you must let your toddler or preschooler on, monitor them closely.
Bummed out yet?? Please don’t be. Knowing the risks allows you to make a plan that works for your family. And if you get hurt, remember I told you so…kidding!
To my kids and husband, sorry that I’m such a maniac. But also…you’re welcome! Love from your no-fun-nurse.