Trampoline Safety Rules & Tips Parents Should Know
To a child, few backyard recreational toys have the allure that trampolines have. As one of the most iconic summertime activities, the trampoline promises hours of fun, excitement and physical activity for your children. However, without a few safety tips in mind before making the decision to buy a trampoline, you could add undue risks to yourself, your children and any guests who wish to play on your new backyard attraction.
If you’re thinking about buying a trampoline to enhance the summer experience for your kids, take a few precautionary measures to make sure a trampoline is right for you.
Are Trampolines Safe?
With proper precautions taken, and additional safety features utilized, trampolines can be much safer for children of the appropriate jumping age. If you’re considering a trampoline as a way to spend quality time with your kids, using safety nets and pads, along with a lower trampoline height, can reduce the risks associated with jumping off onto the ground or into other nearby objects.
Associated risks with jumping on trampolines
Medical professionals urge caution when jumping due to the higher risk of injury to children. Specifically, risks involving sprains or fractures to arms or legs, or head and neck injuries from forceful jumps.
Are Trampolines Safe for Toddlers?
In short, trampolines aren’t meant for children under six years old. This is because toddlers have very fragile bones that aren’t able to withstand the pressure of repetitive jumping. Despite trampolines marketed for toddlers by adding additional safety features, the act of jumping on the trampoline itself poses significant risk to toddlers, according to pediatric orthopedists.
Alternative activities for toddlers
Denying your toddler jumping privileges may feel heartbreaking at first, but remember that it’s in the interest of their safety. Instead, try some of these outdoor activities to get them involved.
Explore the space around you. Take a barefoot stroll through the yard and pay close attention to extraordinary things. Dig around in the dirt to find some subterranean friends. Look for animal tracks around your backyard. With a little imagination, you can get your curious toddler easily engaged in the surprises that await them in the yard.
Blow some bubbles. Another outdoor classic for your fun-loving toddler could be blowing bubbles around the yard and chasing them. By making your own, or buying premade bubble solutions in a bottle, you can get your little one giggling with excitement while big brother or sister jump around.
Arts and crafts. Get creative with your toddler and make something! Take some arts and crafts supplies, like finger paint, outside and make some decorations for the refrigerator!
Causes of Common Trampoline Injuries
While safety precautions can be taken to reduce risks, the activity of jumping on a trampoline itself poses some danger to children of all ages. Be sure to consider common hazards before moving forward with your trampoline purchase.
- Falling from a trampoline — While safety nets exist to help reduce the chance of falling off of a trampoline, they’re not completely capable of removing the risk altogether. Children may still fall out of, or off of, a trampoline with nets.
- Several users on a trampoline — Common for birthdays and special events, many parents let their children and friends bounce together on trampolines or inflatable objects. According to the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, however, over three-quarters of trampoline injuries occur when two or more children are jumping at the same time and collide.
- Hitting the frame — When padding wears away from regular use and the outside elements, children are met with hard metal objects holding the trampoline and netting together. Sometimes the trampoline itself could be a risk factor for injury.
- Dangerous stunts — Flipping and performing other stunts are some of the greatest causes of injury when using a trampoline. Be sure to enforce rules that prohibit dangerous behavior on the trampoline.
Trampoline Safety Rules
Trampoline safety can’t be guaranteed, but with a few rules, injury risks can be reduced. Let’s explore some of the guidelines that could help your child enjoy a trampoline more safely.
Kids under the age of six years old should not use a full-sized trampoline
If you're thinking of getting a trampoline, consider waiting until your kiddo is at least seven years or older. As discussed previously, toddlers have very fragile bones and should not be jumping on a full-sized trampoline. Though there are trampoline products intended for small children, be sure your toddler’s bouncing time is brief and as low impact as possible.
Allow only one person to play on the trampoline at a time
No ifs, ands or buts about it — only one person on the trampoline! By removing the risk factor of colliding with another person, you’re making the trampoline time a safer one. You’re also teaching valuable life lessons in taking turns and sharing.
Flips, somersaults and headstands are cautioned against
Prohibit dangerous stunts from play and you’ll remove a significant risk factor for injury. Ensure your jumpers know that flipping and performing stunts is likely to result in injury before they get on for the first time.
There must be adult supervision at all times
Keep an eye on your kids while they use a trampoline to make sure safety guidelines are followed at all times. It may not be a kid’s idea of fun to be supervised when playing, but it could mean preventing an injury.
Ensure Your Homeowners Insurance Covers Trampolines
So, you’ve done the prep work and weighed the risks of having a trampoline for the family. Before you make the purchase on a trampoline and get the kids and their friends jumping, be sure your policy covers trampoline-related claims. Reach out to your American Family agent today to review your homeowners policy and bounce confidently knowing we have your back.