Trampolines have evolved over two decades. They are used to help practice gymnastics, tumbling, and cheerleading moves, and are often found in backyards across America. They have even found their way into the Olympics, becoming an official event at the 2000 Sydney games. Recently, trampoline parks have opened in many cities. These parks offer a variety of equipment like basketball nets, foam pits, and warrior courses. Their purpose is to entertain thrill seekers of all ages.

Unfortunately, with the fun comes a significant risk of injury. Researchers documented one million emergency room visits during a 10-year period. Of the documented injuries, 29% were fractures and almost 93% were under the age of 16.1 It is important to know the risks when using a trampoline.

Parents should frequently inspect the trampoline for damage and always supervise their children when they use a trampoline. It is recommended that children under the age of six not be allowed to use a trampoline. It is also important that only one individual uses the trampoline at a time and somersaults and flips should not be allowed.

Trampoline parks offer other risks. They incorporate multiple trampolines, positioned at different angles, with many times more than one person on them at a time. Basketball and dodgeball games give players a different experience, but also increase the risk of serious injury. Patients with trampoline park injuries were more likely to need hospital admission than those with home injuries. Several severe injuries at trampoline parks resulted from contact with trampoline frames, springs, or surrounding structures such as poles.

When participating in activities at a trampoline park, jumpers should receive appropriate instruction and have significant supervision by responsible attendants. Padding should cover all springs and objects that the jumper comes in contact with. The jumping area should not be overcrowded and flips, tricks, and somersaults should be avoided.

It is important to stress the risk of injury when using a trampoline. Devastating, life changing injuries can occur in an instant. Parents and participants should make themselves familiar with the equipment being used, the environment that exists, and the need for supervision and responsible jumping when participating in this activity.