5 Ways to Keep Kids Safer on Trampolines

5 Ways to Keep Kids Safer on Trampolines

Trampolines are everywhere. Their popularity has grown steadily ever since competitive trampoline events were added to the Olympics in 2000, notes Brad Culotta, MD, a pediatric orthopedic specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advises against home trampoline use by children and adolescents. But trampolines remain popular, and Dr. Culotta says sprains, fractures and joint dislocations are common.

Parents give trampolines as Christmas gifts, and a number of trampoline-themed recreation centers have opened in Louisiana. More than just fun, trampolines can be a good way for children and teens to get exercise.

But with all that jumping going on, some children get hurt.

In 2014, trampolines were involved in 65,452 injuries nationwide to children between the ages of 5 and 14. Of those, 4,400 were hospitalized, and a handful died from their injuries, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

What surprises many parents, Dr. Culotta says, is that most injuries happen right on the trampoline itself, not from falling or leaping off of it.

“Two-thirds of injuries occur when there are two or more kids jumping,” Dr. Culotta says. “I think some parents have a false sense of security because they have a safety net.”

By having your kids follow some simple guidelines, they can keep jumping their way to fun and fitness. ? For more safety tips for your children, visit ololchildrens.org/safety.

5 Tips for Trampoline Safety

  1. Only allow one person at a time to jump. Most injuries occur when there are two or more jumpers, especially when some are larger than others.
  2. Children under the age of six should not jump on full-size trampolines. “They just don’t have the coordination yet,” Dr. Culotta says.
  3. Don’t allow jumpers to attempt somersaults or flips.
  4. Be sure springs and hard edges are covered with padding, use a safety net and keep trampolines away from trees or other structures.
  5. Supervise children on trampolines at all times.