Should I Buy a Family Trampoline?
Kids begging for a trampoline? Secretly want one yourself? You’re not alone. Offering an exhilarating sense of freedom, trampolines are a popular bouncing off point for fresh air and fun for countless families.
But getting a trampoline is also a big decision. Experts like the American Academy of Pediatrics are up front about the safety risks, so it’s worth taking time to research if a trampoline is right for your family — and if it is, to find the safest model, prepare a secure set up, and plan smart family rules for using it. That’s where these tips can help!
Gather intel. Know a neighbor who has a trampoline in their yard? It can be helpful to talk with people you trust to see their reasoning for buying or not buying a trampoline. While it’s 100% your decision, it’s smart to gather perspectives and see which feel right for your family.
Survey your yard. Take a peek out back. Measure and plan. Is it realistic to fit a trampoline out there? What space would you have to give up? Trampolines need to be anchored down on level ground made from impact-resistant materials (sand, mulch, wood chips, etc.) and far away from trees, playsets, garages, etc.
Think about your role. No matter how responsible or mischievous your kids are — supervision is key when you have a trampoline in your backyard. Think about if you’re truly ready and willing to keep tabs on your jumping little ones (and their friends) before taking the plunge and buying a trampoline. If not? There are tons of other fun backyard toys that don’t require 24/7 monitoring!
Size up your kiddos. Age? Weight? Height? Much like the size of your yard, your kids’ attributes are a huge factor in choosing a safe model that supports them as they grow.
Account for safety features. When thinking about buying a trampoline, factor in the costs of vital safety features like rust-resistant springs, thick shock-absorbing pads, zipped enclosures, steel frames, etc. Think of them as ‘must haves’ not ‘nice-to-haves.’ Plus, like many other things — it’s worth paying more to ensure you’re getting a safer, more sturdy model. And used trampolines? Skip those.
Imagine your family’s trampoline manifesto. It may seem strange to think through rules before you’ve even decided to buy a trampoline, but it’s a smart way to determine if your family would realistically be able to stick to them. Talk through them as a family and see if everyone can get on board with rules like:
- Kids younger that six years old shouldn’t use a full-sized trampoline
- One person is allowed on the trampoline at a time
- No somersaults or headstands
- Adult supervision no matter what