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May 08, 2014 12:49 PM EDT

Trampolines Send More Than 1 Million People To The ER


Trampolines may be fun to jump and bounce around on, but they can also be very dangerous, according to a recent study The Indianapolis Star reported.

Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine released a report Thursday stating that from 2002 to 2011, trampoline accidents accounted for nearly 289,000 visits to emergency rooms just for broken bones. When all accidents, not just fractures, are factored in, the tally rises to more than one million ER visits, The Indianapolis Star reported.

"We are inundated with injuries," Dr. Randall T. Loder, the study's lead author and chair of orthopedic surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine told The Indianapolis Star. "Kids need to be healthy and active, but this is not the way to do it."

For the study, researchers collected data from retrieved data for all trampoline-related injuries for the decade beginning 2002 from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which collects data from a sample of 100 hospitals across the country. Using statistical techniques, they estimated there were just over 1 million emergency department visits, with 288,876 of them involving fractures.

The study also found that fractures from trampolines occurred at a cost of more than $400 million.  Trampoline injuries overall led to more than $1 billion in emergency room visits.

About 60 percent of the fractures were upper-extremity injuries, notably fingers, hands, forearms and elbows. Lower-extremity fractures most commonly were breaks in the lower leg -- the tibia and fibula -- and ankles. Just over 4 percent involved fractures to the axial skeleton, including the spine, head, and ribs and sternum. An estimated 2,807 spinal fractures were reported during the period studied.

"Fortunately, there were fewer spine injuries than might have been expected, but those can be catastrophic," Meagan Sabatino, co-author of the study and clinical research coordinator for pediatric orthopedic surgery, said in a statement.

This is the first study to look at fractures related to trampoline use nationwide.

"There have not been any large-scale studies of these injuries," Dr. Loder said. "We wanted to document the patterns of injury. This gives us an idea of the magnitude of the problem across the country."

The findings were recently published online in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics.

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