The dangers of trampoline parks revealed - study

"The system is unpredictable."
"The system is unpredictable." Photo credit: Getty

A biomechanical engineer from the US has revealed his findings regarding trampoline park injuries after years of dedicated research.

Dr Pete Pidcoe, from Virginia, says the designs of trampoline parks can create a hazardous transfer of energy. He believes this is a possible reason behind numerous injuries sustained in trampoline parks. In the US, 18,000 people were injured from the activity in 2017. 

"We found there is energy transferred between trampoline beds. It's really one big trampoline," Pidcoe told CBS News.

"The system is unpredictable."

A recent video taken at a trampoline park in New Jersey shows a dad double-bouncing his son, causing the child to break his femur. Pidcoe says this is an example of how dangerous the energy transfer can be.

Pidcoe uses an impulse hammer and accelerometers to study the rebound effect of trampolines. Following the New Jersey incident, he measured how much force a 99-kilogram dad could transfer to his 14-kilogram son on a continually changing surface.

"The father [is] transferring into the son 400 lbs (181-kilograms) of force," he told CBS News.

"It's like getting hit with a hammer."

A trauma surgeon told CBS News that he has seen numerous severe injuries as a result of trampoline parks, including head trauma, broken legs and spinal fractures.

There have been at least six deaths related to trampoline parks since 2012 across the US.

"Everybody in that system is influencing everybody else's jump," Pidcoe said.

Pidcoe is hoping to publish his findings in a sports medicine journal this year.