Effectiveness of pads and enclosures as safety interventions on consumer trampolines

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Injury Prevention, 2010, 16 (3), pp. 185 - 189
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Background Trampolines continue to be a major source of childhood injury. Objective To examine available data on trampoline injuries in order to determine the effectiveness of padding and enclosures. Design Trampoline injuries from the NEISS database from 2002 to 2007 were reclassified into five cause-categories, to examine evidence for injury trends. Setting The ASTM trampoline standard recommendations for safety padding were upgraded in 1999 and enclosures were introduced in 1997. This is the first study to examine the impact of these changes. Patients The sampling frame comprises patients with NEISS product code 'consumer trampolines' (1233). A systematic sample of 360 patients each year is taken. Interventions The prominent interventions recommended by the ASTM are netting enclosures to prevent falling off and safety padding to cover frames and springs. Main outcome measures Proportion of injuries within each cause-category and trend estimates. Results There was no evidence for a decline within the injury cause-categories that should be prevented by these interventions from 2002 to 2007. Conclusions If these interventions were effective the associated injury causes would be in decline. Instead they remain close to half of all trampoline injuries with no significant change over the period of the study. Follow-up studies are proposed to determine the reasons. Given the number of injuries involved it is recommended that steps be taken to ensure these safety interventions or their equivalents are in place, work properly and remain effective for the life of consumer trampolines.
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