A new report shows the number of Australian children sustaining serious injuries at indoor trampoline parks have increased as the activity grows in popularity.
Unless a mandatory Australian Standard to govern the safety of indoor trampolining kids will continue to be at increased risk of "catastrophic" spinal injuries and lifelong disability, warn injury experts.
Researchers analysed a number of injury surveillance databases and found nearly 500 children presented to hospital emergency departments across three Australian states between 2012-2017 due to injuries suffered at indoor trampoline parks.
Injuries sustained included bone fractures, concussion and even more serious spinal and brain injuries.
Lead investigator Dr Lisa Sharwood of the University of Sydney says this is just a "snapshot" and suspects these figures are not truly representative of the serious public health issue.
"These are just cases that attended hospital," said Dr Sharwood. "There would be many with injuries that will go to their GP, some with a sprained ankle may not even bother going to the doctor."
Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, the figures are consistent, however, with data released in 2016 that revealed 40 children with trampolining-related injuries were admitted to Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick within a six month period.
Indoor trampoline parks have risen in popularity since the first venue opened in 2012, with some 80 parks now operating across Australia.
"Before these parks existed there weren't these types of injuries," said Dr Sharwood.
Reports of patrons smashing their heads on concrete slabs after jumping into a foam pit is an "absolute violation" of safe practice and the safety of these indoor parks must be improved, says Dr Sharwood.
"I mean people don't put their kids in cars and not put the seatbelts on, it's as simple as that."
A draft Australian Standard is currently under review for release later this year by Standards Australia but will only be voluntary.
Until there are mandatory Australian Standards to protect children using indoor trampoline parks, parents are advised to do their research and only use venues that are members of the Australian Trampoline Park Association.