Keep Bouncing – Trampoline & Bounce House Rules

As an orthopaedic surgeon, I see my fair share of bounce house and trampoline injuries.  These injuries occur primarily in children ages 4 to 15 and in adventurous caretakers (mothers, fathers, etc).

Trampolines have been improved with the addition of safety netting.  The netting around trampolines and walls around bounce houses do help to prevent head injuries caused by an impact with the ground.

However, the nets and walls cannot prevent injury from occurring due to impact with other bouncers, the mat or even the net itself.  This impact frequently results in broken bones or dislocation of elbows, wrists and even legs.

If after reading the list of potential injuries you are still inclined to get your thrills by jumping on a trampoline or bounce house, prevent injuries in yourself and others by following these guidelines:

  1. Limit the number of people on the trampoline/bounce house at a time
  2. Cohort by sex, age, weight, experience and activity level.  (In other words, highly active 10 year old boys should not be bouncing with a group of 2 year olds.)
  3. Try to concentrate bouncing in the center of the trampoline or bounce house, avoiding the edges when possible.
  4. All trampoline/bounce house activity needs to be supervised by a competent adult.

If after following these rules the bouncing still goes bad and you suspect an orthopaedic injury, call an orthopaedic office for advice.  Urgent care or emergency departments are good options after hours.

Dr. Okechukwu Nwoko is a fellowship trained hand and upper extremity surgeon with Wake Orthopaedics.

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