boy with spring in his back
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
May 8, 2024 ·  4 min read

Freak Accident on A Trampoline Left 12-Year-Old British Boy with A Spring Buried 6cm in His Back

It was like every other day when Jamie Quinlan went to this friend’s place, to have some fun on the trampoline. He couldn’t have known that a few hours later, he’d up in the emergency room. The 12-year-old had been bouncing on the trampoline when one of the springs snapped off and fired “like a bullet” into his back, very narrowly missing his spine [1]. The poor boy dropped down to the surface in excruciating pain. Later, when the doctors assessed his wound, they estimated that the foot-long metal coil had catapulted at about 70mph before burying itself sharply into his back.

Jamie who lives in Louth, Lincolnshire, England was taken to the emergency room at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where the surgeons operated on his back to remove the coil. He was observed overnight and released the following Monday.

Jamie’s father creates awareness of toy safety

His father, Ian Quinlan, 62, is calling on all parents out there to make their children’s playtime safety a priority. Ian is a full-time caretaker for his 55-year-old wife, Sandra, who has Parkinson’s disease.

“It was a terrible thing to happen, and it really scared me. It could have happened to anyone. Jamie has been so brave,” Ian said to Louth Leader [2].

“I want people to be aware of how dangerous trampolines can be if there’s no cover on the springs, or if there’s a gap,” he advised. “The spring had come off the trampoline like a bullet. If it had hit elsewhere on Jamie’s body, in his head or throat, we could have lost him. Children are the most important things in our lives, so people need to be aware of the dangers in their own back garden.”

 Overtime, trampolines tend to lose their bounce and take on an annoying slack. This is because the springs are overstretched and are losing their elasticity and strength. Regular replacement of trampoline springs is a good safety practice, and these springs are best covered by a layer of insulating material. One lose spring is all it takes, and someone could get seriously hurt, just like Jamie was. It’s important to ensure that there are never any missing springs on the trampoline. This would cause the nearby coils to stretch further than they should and increase the risk of firing off.

Jamie speaks on his terrible ordeal

Jamie was surprisingly brave through it all, although he nearly passed out in the ambulance while being taken to the hospital. Speaking to the Louth Leader, the Louth Academy student said:

When I was in the waiting room there, I was really nervous. It took them about 10 minutes to actually get the spring out of my back. The doctors said they had never heard of something like this happening with a trampoline.”

Jamie will be requiring therapy when he fully recovers from the physical injury. He still suffers mildly form the trauma, although he says he is doing much better now.

“Sometimes it still feels like the spring is in my back, but I am getting a lot better and stronger now. I feel relieved that it wasn’t worse.”

Safety on the trampoline

Reports show that an estimated 100,000 injuries occur every year from trampolines in the world [3]. More than 1 million people were hospitalized between 2002 and 2011 due to trampoline-related injuries.[4] According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children below the age of 6 are the most at risk [5]. These injuries could range from concussions and sprains to broken bones, neck injuries, strains and more. 

Collisions are also common causes of serious trampoline injuries when more than one person is jumping. Since trampolines cannot be banned forever, it is recommended that children below the age of 6 use toddler bouncers. They should never be allowed to get on the larger trampolines. 

Trampolines should always have a surrounding guard netting to prevent anyone from bouncing off the edges. Not more than one person should jump at a time, and no gymnastic stunts or somersaults should be performed on the trampoline. Older kids have to be supervised by an adult and prevented from bouncing to dangerously high altitudes.


  1. Mark Cardwell. Trampoline spring skewers British boy, 12, in freak accident. 7News Australia. Retrieved 13-09-19
  2. James Silcocks. Louth boy rushed to hospital after freak trampoline accident. Louth Leader. Retrieved 13-09-19
  5. Admin. Trampolines: What You Need to Know. Healthy Children. Retrieved 13-09-19