For many children, jumping on a trampoline offers hours of fun and exercise.
But because trampolines have become such a backyard staple in the United States, many people underestimate the dangers they can pose to both children and teens.
Hospitals treated more than 104,000 trampoline-related injuries in 2014, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the recreational use of trampolines, while the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons emphasizes trampolines should not be used in an unsupervised setting.
If your kids do engage in trampoline jumping, make sure you and they understand the risks associated with it, and take every safety precaution.
Choosing the right trampoline for your family can help to minimize safety hazards when your kids are jumping. Ask yourself these questions when buying one:
- Is the weight limit appropriate for who will be using the trampoline? Is the size of the mat right for my kids?
- Does this trampoline come with an enclosure that can prevent kids from falling off?
- Does this trampoline come with safety pads to cover the frame and springs?
- Is this trampoline made of quality, durable material?
- Will this trampoline fit in my yard?
- Does this trampoline come with a warranty?
Trampoline injuries most often occur as a result of landing wrong while jumping or flipping, falling off the trampoline, landing on the springs or frame, or colliding with another jumper. To keep children from getting hurt on trampolines, avoid frequent trampoline use and keep a close watch on your kids while they jump.
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Keeping Kids Safe on Trampolines
A child can be injured while jumping on a trampoline in just one moment. It’s important to address the safety of your trampoline, the area surrounding it, and the way your children use it in order to prevent injuries.
- The primary rule of trampoline jumping is that only one jumper should be on the trampoline at a time. According to the American Trauma Society, 75 percent of trampoline injuries occur when multiple people jump together.
- Keep children under six years of age away from trampolines they have a greater risk of getting hurt. Remove ladders from trampolines to prevent younger children from climbing onto them unsupervised.
- Adult supervision is required any time a trampoline is in use. Do not leave children of any age unattended while jumping.
- Do not allow children or teens to perform flips or stunts unless they are an experienced jumper. Serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine can result from stunts, causing concussions, paralysis, or even death.
- Ensure the trampoline is enclosed with strong netting to prevent falls. Approximately one-third of all trampoline injuries are the result of falling from a trampoline. Sprains, strains, and broken bones are some of the most common trampoline injuries.
- Choose the location of your trampoline carefully. Make sure the ground is level and free of rocks or holes. Do not place trampolines on asphalt or concrete. Keep at least an 8-foot perimeter around the trampoline clear, creating a safer fall zone.
- Cover all springs and framing with padding.
- Minimize hazards on the trampoline mat. Do not allow any toys or foreign objects on the mat, and check the mat regularly for tears or holes.
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