For many children, jumping on a trampoline offers hours of fun and plenty of exercise. But it can also lead to dangerous situations.

Trampolines have become a backyard staple in the U.S. But many people underestimate the dangers they can pose to children and teens.

In 2018, more than 300,000 trampoline injuries needed medical treatment, including more than 110,000 visits to the emergency room. That’s according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the recreational use of trampolines. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says kids should not use trampolines unsupervised. They also don’t recommend trampoline use for children under 6.

If your kids engage in trampoline jumping, ensure you and they know the risks. Take every safety precaution.

Common Trampoline-Related Injuries

Trampoline jumping can lead to injuries. These can include injuries like:

  • Broken arm and leg bones.
  • A concussion from injuries to the head.
  • Death.
  • Neck sprains and strains.
  • Paralysis from spine injuries.

Trampoline injuries can occur when:

  • Colliding with another jumper.
  • Falling off the trampoline accidentally.
  • Jumping with another person.
  • Landing on the springs or frame.
  • Landing wrong when jumping or flipping.

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Tips for Using a Trampoline Safely

Stay safe on the trampoline by reducing the dangers and risks. Prevention tips include:

  • Avoid frequent trampoline use.
  • Check the mat regularly for tears or holes.
  • Cover all springs and framing with padding.
  • Don’t place trampolines on asphalt or concrete.
  • Enclose the trampoline with strong netting to prevent falls.
  • Keep a close watch on your kids while they jump.
  • Make sure the ground is level and free of rocks or holes.
  • Remove ladders to prevent younger children from climbing onto trampolines unsupervised.

Choosing the Right Trampoline

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:

  • Does this trampoline come with safety pads to cover the frame and springs?
  • Does this trampoline come with a warranty?
  • Does this trampoline have an enclosure that can prevent kids from falling off?
  • Is the weight limit appropriate for whoever’s using the trampoline? Is the size of the mat right for my kids?
  • Is this trampoline made of quality, durable material?
  • Will this trampoline fit in my yard?

Trampoline injuries often occur due to landing wrong while jumping or flipping. Injuries also happen when falling off the trampoline or landing on the springs or frame. Jumping with other people is dangerous; it can lead to colliding with another jumper, a common cause of trampoline-related injuries.

To keep children from getting hurt on trampolines, avoid frequent trampoline use. Watch your kids closely while they jump.

Keeping Kids Safe on Trampolines

Trampoline injuries can happen at any moment. There are three crucial things to pay attention to avoid a trampoline injury.

First, address the safety of your trampoline. Then, pay attention to the area surrounding it. Finally, notice how your children use it and help them prevent injuries.

  • The primary rule of trampoline jumping is that only one person should jump on the trampoline at a time. According to the American Trauma Society, 75% of trampoline injuries occur when multiple people jump together.
  • Keep children under 6 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.
  • An adult must supervise anytime a trampoline is in use. Don’t leave children of any age unattended while jumping.
  • Only allow experienced jumpers to perform flips or stunts. The severe head, neck, and spine injuries that can result may cause concussions, paralysis, or even death.
  • Ensure the trampoline has a solid netting enclosure to prevent falls. Approximately one-third of all trampoline injuries result from 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. Don’t place trampolines on asphalt or concrete.
  • Keep at least an 8-foot perimeter around the trampoline clear, creating a safer fall zone. Ensure no trees, poles, or walls are in this area.
  • Cover all springs and framing with padding.
  • Minimize hazards on the trampoline mat. Don’t allow toys or foreign objects on the surface.

Trampoline Checks and Precautions

Each time you use your trampoline, run safety checks and take precautions. These include:

  • Checking that all springs are in position and the bolts are tight.
  • Checking that the frame isn’t bent and that you’ve locked the leg braces.
  • Checking that nothing is under the trampoline.
  • Checking the mat regularly for tears or holes.
  • Having jumpers remove all jewelry before jumping.
  • Having jumpers take off their shoes before jumping.
  • Making sure jumpers aren’t wearing clothes with drawstrings. These can get caught in the trampoline.
  • Making sure kids take everything out of their pockets before jumping. Loose objects on the mat can cause hazards.
  • Making sure the mat isn’t slippery with water.

About Trauma & Emergency Medicine

Emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye or in a heartbeat. And when they do, minutes matter. UPMC’s Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care services are ready to provide world-class care, no matter how serious your emergency. All our Emergency Departments have a full-time staff of emergency specialists at the ready 24 hours a day. We use advanced technology to diagnose and treat your condition and coordinate with your doctor to provide the best care possible. We also have specialized trauma care at several of our hospitals. If you or a loved one is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest Emergency Department.