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Trampoline trauma in children: is it preventable?

OBJECTIVES: Trampoline injuries represent a preventable cause of injury in children. This study identified the characteristics of children injured while using trampolines who presented to a pediatric trauma center in Sydney, Australia.

METHODS: The Pediatric Trauma Database at our institution was reviewed to identify children with trampoline-related injuries between January 1999 and June 2008. Data collected included age, sex, Injury Severity Score, anatomical region injured, type of injury, mechanism of injury, site of injury and surface fallen onto, level of supervision, treatment, and hospital length of stay.

RESULTS: Over the 9.5-year review period, 383 children presented with trampoline-related injuries: 193 (50.4%) were female. Just over a quarter (n = 106, 27.7%) were treated and discharged the same day. The remaining patients accounted for 725 hospital bed days with a mean length of stay of 2.3 days. The most common area of the body injured was the upper limb (n = 246, 64.2%), with a fall from the trampoline to the ground being the most frequent mechanism of injury (n = 257, 67.1%). The majority (n = 345, 90.1%) of children were injured in their home or at the home of a friend or relative. Surgery was required in 236 (61.6%), with closed reduction of an upper limb fracture being the most common procedure (n = 107, 27.9%).

CONCLUSIONS: Trampoline-related injuries remain common in children. Implementation of current guidelines and the introduction of innovative trampoline designs should reduce the risk of this injury in children.

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