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November 26, 1960

The Trampoline and Serious Neurological InjuriesA Report of Five Cases

JAMA. 1960;174(13):1673-1676. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030130001001

Acrobatic tumbling on the trampoline, a canvas mat supported by springs within a steel frame, recently has become a popular sport for the general public. This report is based on the examination of 5 patients who suffered severe neurological injuries on the trampoline. The factors leading to their injuries were analyzed. All but one of the injuries resulted from backward somersaults imperfectly executed by persons unskilled in gymnastics. Acute cervical spine flexion led to quadriplegia in 3 patients, followed by death in one instance. One accident resulted in a fractured skull. Ten regulations for commercial trampoline centers are suggested, dealing especially with minimum instruction before attempting difficult gymnastic maneuvers such as somersaults. Public health officials and local medical authorities are asked to take the initiative in the enforcement of these regulations.