It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. When my husband and I see trampolines in backyards, we call them death traps.
How risky are trampolines? What’s the data show? Are they actually safe?
Trampolines Are Jumping Joy
Kids enjoy jumping on trampolines. They provide exercise and give them something to do outside.
Can they really be a death trap?
Trampoline Death Count
The number of deaths caused by trampolines is relatively low.
According to Policy Genius, there were only 22 deaths from trampoline injuries from 2000 to 2009.
Whereas the CDC reports an average of 4,000 annual deaths from drowning.
My risk perception is higher than the actual risk of death.
My sister spent years caring for a quadriplegic lady. She was paralyzed due to a neck injury from falling off a trampoline.
She lived for many years but eventually died from the health problems caused by the trampoline injury. So while her death was not classified as a “trampoline death,” the trampoline injury shortened her life.
They Look Dangerous
I may have heard warnings about trampolines when I was growing up that stuck with me.
All that jumping (with multiple kids on it simultaneously) looks dangerous to me.
How could several kids jumping together in a small area not end badly?
While the chance of death is low from trampoline mishaps, the possibility of an injury is much higher.
Over 100,000 people are treated in the emergency room each year.
And for children, 3.85% of pediatric fractures are caused by trampoline injuries.
Home Trampolines vs. Parks
More accidents happen on home trampolines (66%) than at a trampoline park (34%).
However, injuries resulting in a fracture are more likely at a park (55%) than at home (44%).
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages trampoline use due to the number of injuries.
In an article for CBS News, an expert warns of the catastrophic injury risk.
Death Trap vs. Injuries
The data doesn’t support calling trampolines Death Traps.
However, the data does confirm the injury risk. And some injuries, while they do not cause death immediately, can alter the life of the injured.
I will likely still call them “Death Traps,” though, as it sounds catchier than “Unintentional Injury Trap.”
Safety Measures Can Reduce Injury Risk
Following safety tips and instructions can lower the risk of injury and death
- Allowing only one adult or child on the trampoline
- Use a protective net and safety padding
- Don’t jump on a wet trampoline
You can read more trampoline safety tips here.
Do people actually follow the rules? For example, I rarely see just one child on a trampoline.
What Will You Decide?
Will you or your children jump on a trampoline despite the risk of injuries and death?
Risk is a part of life. We take a risk every time we get into a car.
Are trampolines a risk your family will take?
Less Risky Activities
While unintentional injuries can happen with most activities, some are less risky than others.
Plan A Family Vacation
Plan a fun vacation for your family this summer!