crsheader Index Trampoline Safety

Should I buy a trampoline?

Because of the high injury rate, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you do not have a home trampoline. Before making your decision, be sure to read injury and safety information. Tens of thousands of children are injured each year as a result of trampolines.

What injuries are caused by trampoline use?

Serious injuries occur to the neck, arms, legs, face, and head. Head and neck injuries are the most serious. Neck injuries usually happen when children try to do flips and land on their head or neck instead of their feet. Many children are paralyzed for life from a trampoline injury each year. The injury rate is highest for children younger than 6 years old.

How are most injuries caused?

Almost 75% of injuries happen when more than one person is on the trampoline at the same time. When 2 people use the trampoline, the person weighing less is 5 times more likely to be injured than the heavier person. Adult supervision is no guarantee that a child will be safe. More than half of all trampoline injuries occur while the child is being watched by an adult. Having spotters around the edges helps reduce some of the risk of injury. Spotters need to be big enough and strong enough to protect the jumper if he gets too close to the edge.

Can I make trampoline jumping safer?

If your child already uses a trampoline, you should follow these safety measures.

  • Clear the area around the trampoline of objects. Keep it away from trees, fences, poles, or other playground equipment.
  • Set the trampoline where an energy-absorbing surface, such as tall grass, surrounds it.
  • Use a frame pad to covers the springs completely.
  • Use a net to enclose the trampoline.
  • It may help to dig a pit where you put the trampoline. That reduces the danger from falling from heights.
  • Set rules for trampoline use. Review them often with your children.
  • Teach your children about the risks of not using the trampoline properly.
  • Have your children remove any necklaces.
  • Have someone properly train your child how to do flips and other complex stunts.
  • Never allow more than one person to use the trampoline at the same time. Have several spotters around the edges.
  • Do not let children bounce to jump off.

Written by Robert Brayden, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine. Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2010-06-03
Last reviewed: 2010-06-02 This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. References
Pediatric Advisor 2011.4 Index
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