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Trampoline Safety

Should I buy a trampoline?

Because of the high injury rate, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of home trampolines. If you are considering buying a trampoline, consider other activities for your children instead. Before making your decision, be sure to read injury and safety information. There were over 111,000 injuries as a result of trampolines in 2004.

What injuries are caused by trampoline use?

Injuries to children playing on trampolines are on the rise, mainly because trampolines have increased in popularity. Serious injuries occur to all parts of the body, including the neck, arms, legs, face, and head. Head and neck injuries are the most serious injury associated with trampolines. Neck injuries usually happen when children try to do flips and land on their head or neck instead of their feet. Every year many children are paralyzed for life from a trampoline injury. The injury rate is highest for children younger than 6 years old.

How are most injuries caused?

Almost 75% of injuries on trampolines result when more than one person is on the trampoline at the same time. When two 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 on a trampoline. More than half of all trampoline injuries occur while the child is being watched by an adult. Having spotters around the tramp helps reduce some of the risk of injury. Spotters need to be people big enough and strong enough to protect the jumper if he should get too close to the edge. Spotters are especially important when your child has friends over to jump.

How can I make trampoline jumping safer?

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

Location of the trampoline and safety features:

  • Clear the area around the trampoline of objects and do not set the trampoline near trees, fences, poles, or other playground equipment.
  • Set the trampoline where an energy-absorbing surface (for example, tall grass) surrounds it.
  • Buy and use a frame pad that covers the entire area of the spring system.
  • Enclosure netting reduces injuries by about one-third. However netting does not prevent crippling injuries from trampoline use.
  • If possible, lower the height to ground level by putting the trampoline in a pit.

Before using the trampoline:

  • Set rules for trampoline use and discuss them often with your children.
  • Tell your children about the risks of not using the tramp properly.
  • Have your children remove any necklaces.

Using the trampoline:

  • 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.
  • Do not allow bouncing followed by jumping off of the trampoline.
  • Have an adequate number of spotters around the edges of the trampoline.
Written by Robert Brayden, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-10-12
Last reviewed: 2006-08-22
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.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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