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Trampoline Injuries On The Rise

Safety Tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission

According to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hospital emergency room-treated trampoline injuries almost tripled during the 1990's  - from an estimated 37,500 in 1991 to almost 100,000 in 1999.  According to a 2000 report, 93% of the 91,870 estimated ER visits in 2001 were to children under 15  years of age, and  11% involved young children under 5 years old. Since 1990, CPSC has received reports of 6 deaths related to trampoline use of children under age 15.

Trampolines have become increasingly popular in recent years. Trampoline gymnastics became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.  In 1998, an estimated 640,000 backyard trampolines were sold in the United States

Most trips to the emergency room are the result of jumpers colliding with one another, falling on the trampoline springs or frame, falling or jumping off the trampoline, or attempting somersaults and stunts. To reduce injuries, CPSC has worked with the industry to develop a new standard for trampolines, which went into effect in 1999. Four new requirements were added to make trampolines safer and alert consumers to potential dangers:

  1. Padding must completely cover the metal frame, hooks, and all springs.

  2. There must be a label on the trampoline box stating, trampolines over 20 inches tall are not recommended for children under 6 years of age.

  3. Ladders cannot be sold with trampolines to prevent access by young children.

  4. Warning label on the trampoline bed must alert consumers not to allow more than one person to jump at a time and to warn against somersaults that can cause paralysis and death. "The Olympics could give the popularity of trampolines another bounce," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Unfortunately, the injuries have already reached Olympic proportions. The new safety standard along with taking precautions could help prevent many of these injuries."

The CPSC recommends the following safety tips:

  • Always supervise children who use a trampoline.

  • Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.

  • Do not allow somersaults.

  • Do not allow the trampoline to be used without padding that completely covers the springs, hooks, and the frame.

  • Place the trampoline away from structures and other play areas.

  • Do not use a ladder with the trampoline because it provides unsupervised access by small children.

  • Trampoline net enclosures can prevent injuries from falling off the trampoline.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html