Summer is here and the trampolines are out. Sure, a trampoline is great for fun and exercise but landing wrong can cause serious, even permanent injuries. Injuries can occur even when a trampoline has a net, padding and parents are watching.
Trampoline jumping poses a high risk of injury for children. The activity can result in strains, sprains, factures and other injuries - including potentially serious head and neck injuries. If you choose to by a trampoline despite the risks, remember to follow these important safety tips.
Where to place the trampoline
- Make sure the trampoline is on level ground and a safe distance away from trees, fences, or hedges.
- Place the tree on soft, energy absorbing ground. For example, a lawn that's soft and springy using sand, bark or other materials that can produce a cushioning effect.
- Create a safe fall zone of at least 8 feet around the outside of the trampoline, and keep this area clear.
Equipment and the use of safety nets and pads
- Purchase a round trampoline (rectangular trampolines provide a dangerously high bounce).
- Install a high trampoline enclosure - a special net designed to surround the trampoline around the perimeter
- Cover the trampoline's frame, springs and surrounding landing surfaces with shock-absorbing pads.
- Use soft materials like sand or wood chips to provide a softer surface around and underneath the trampoline.
- Regularly check the equipment for tears, detachments and deterioration.
- Children age 5 and under should not be permitted on a trampoline.
- Provide adult supervision and adult spotters around the edge of the trampoline.
- Never allow more than 1 person to jump at a time.
- Do not allow somersaults, flips or any kind of gymnastic exercises.
- Do not allow children to bounce off the trampoline. Encourage them to stop bouncing, walk to the edge, sit and slide off.
- Never allow children to play on a wet trampoline.
If you're going to have a trampoline, keep in mind the statistics below. By providing a safe environment for your kids, you can help them avoid being a part of these statistics.
- Most trips to the hospital emergency rooms result from jumpers colliding, falling off the trampoline or stunts.
- The most common areas of injury are:
- Legs and feet: 40%
- Arms or hands: 29%
- Head, face or neck: 20%
- Shoulder or trunk: 10%
- About 246,875 medically-treated trampoline injuries occur annually in the United States. 75% of these injuries occur in children 14 or younger.
- Children under 6 were treated for about 15% of trampoline injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
- Improper use of a trampoline can result in death. Most victims are teenagers, ages 12 to 19. Falls from the trampoline were the most frequent cause of death, followed by landing on the neck while attempting somersaults.
Statistics accessed from the Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure