Beware of trampoline accidents in play facilities! In the worst case, bone fracture or nerve damage
When jumping on a trampoline, my daughter fell and broke her left thigh. An adult was also jumping on the same trampoline.
(injury of a girl aged two years reported to the Medical Facilities Network1)
A trampoline2 is a jumping device that uses an elastic bed mounted on springs to allow a user to jump high repeatedly with bounce (See Figure below). Trampolines are widely used for competitions, recreation, rehabilitation, training for gymnastics and snowboarding, etc.
Recently, an increasing number of indoor play facilities have several types of trampolines, including those designed for official competitions that enable high jumps.
Figure: Part names of a trampoline3
- 1 The Medical Facilities Network is a joint project by the Consumer Affairs Agency and NCAC which started operating from Dec. 2010. The network collects accident reports on people receiving treatment at medical facilities after suffering life-threatening or bodily injuries in their daily lives.
- 2 The name "trampoline" is a registered trade name of Senoh Corporation. Here, inflatable play equipment is not included in trampolines.
- 3 With reference to "Guidance on proper use of sports apparatus and safety check to prevent accidents" (the third revision) written by the Japan Sport Facilities Association
Problems and Advice
Jumping on a trampoline without following safety tips may cause a serious injury such as bone fracture or nerve damage from falling outside a trampoline or colliding with another person. For instance, a serious accident was notified to the Consumer Affairs Agency: when jumping on a trampoline in a play facility, a user fell outside the trampoline and suffered from fracture-dislocation of the left elbow.4
Moreover, the Accident Databank5 and the Medical Facilities Network have also received accident reports related to trampolines.
- 4 Notified on April 21, 2020 under Article 12-1 of the Consumer Safety Act
- 5 Accident Databank is a system for collecting and sharing data on harmful or hazardous incidents to help prevent similar incidents, which has been operated in cooperation by the Consumer Affairs Agency and NCAC since April 2010.
Safety tips for using a trampoline:
- Follow facility rules to play safely.
- First-time users should jump low at first so that they can jump with stability and gradually increase the jump height.
- The higher a jump becomes, the greater the drop impact and the severity of possible injuries. When using a trampoline designed for official competitions that enable high jumps, understand the risk and use it within your comfort zone and skill level.
- Only one person on a trampoline at a time. If two or more persons jump on a trampoline together, the risk becomes higher: they may jump higher than expected and hit each other.
- "Beware of trampoline accidents in play facilities! In the worst case, bone fracture or nerve damage" released by the Consumer Affairs Agency and NCAC on December 9, 2020 (Japanese version)