While trampolines are popular among children and adults, they are also dangerous.
With the arrival of indoor trampoline parks around the world, trampoline-related injuries may continue to soar. While diving, jumping and somersaulting on a trampoline may be fun, a wrong landing can cause serious and permanent injuries.
Injuries can even occur when trampolines have protective padding, netting and parental supervision. When choosing between safety and bouncing, research the dangers posed by trampolines to assess your risk.
How Dangerous are Trampolines?
When you’re a parent, it can be hard to say no to your kids. Especially when they are begging for a new toy or gadget. Toys are especially tricky because they seem harmless.
But every year, thousands of parents learn the hard way that some toys are harmful. Trampolines are among the most dangerous toys – and they’re popular with kids.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were more than 110,000 trampoline-related injuries in 2010. That’s almost twice the number of injuries reported 10 years ago. And it’s not just kids who get hurt.
Between 2007 and 2011, more than 16,000 people over the age of 65 were injured by trampolines.
The good news is that many of these injuries were not serious. By far the most common type of trampoline-related injury is sprained or strained knees from falling off the mat while jumping or doing stunts.
It may be easy to write these off as “minor” compared to the head injuries or broken bones on other toys we’ve covered before, but even sprains and strains can lead to long-term problems if not treated properly.
What Makes Trampoline so Dangerous?
The main issues that cause injuries on trampolines are:
Falls – but only if the child bounces when jumping or putting up the trampoline.
The frame breaking – this is rare but can happen if the frame is flimsy or not checked regularly for wear and tear.
The netting breaking – again this is rare but it can happen if it has been badly fitted or put up with sharp objects underneath.
Used Trampolines Can Be Dangerous
When you buy a used trampoline, there’s no telling what kind of shape it will be in. Even if it looks good on the outside, the springs or netting can be damaged, and this damage is not always immediately visible.
A used trampoline may look great at first, but once your child starts bouncing on it, the springs or netting can become faulty and cause serious injury.
But You Get What You Pay For…Right?
Many people think that if they get a cheap used trampoline, they will save money over buying an expensive brand new trampoline. However, when you consider that used trampolines are more likely to be in poor condition, it makes sense that buying a used trampoline will cost more in the long run than buying a new one.
Tremendous Increase in the Injuries
Emergency rooms are tracking the number of trampoline-related injuries when the popularity of trampolines is found to be growing. Even some medical associations are claiming to ban trampoline use in physical education classes, backyards and playgrounds.
It was revealed that the risk would apply to both children and adults. Injuries range from sprains, strains and fractures to more serious neck and head injuries. Most of these injuries tend to occur at home.
What are the Common Injuries?
Several hundreds of people are found to be getting injured on a trampoline on a daily basis. Mostly, injuries occur on a home trampoline. Kids, who are younger than six years, are at greater risk of injury. Some of the common injuries include:
- Broken bones, surgery is needed sometimes
- Head & neck injuries that may lead to death or permanent paralysis
- Scrapes, bruises and cuts
- Other head injuries.
Minimum to Maximum Hazard
The risks that come with a rebounder or mini-trampoline are somewhat less as compared to a risk factor associated with a full-size trampoline. An analysis of injury records has shown similar patterns yet with one exception.
It was found that all individuals injured on the bouncer were treated and discharged from the emergency room, while 5% of those injured on the full-size trampoline had injuries severe enough to require hospitalization.
If usual fitness bouncing does not do anything for you, then check out the most recent trampoline sport-on-steroids in addition to health insurance. Wall trampoline is a full-out acrobatic, which needs conditioning of gymnasts, nerves of steel and even a strong sense of balance.
Normally, bouncers are dropped from a high platform towards a trampoline set up, which is next to the wall with the intention to achieve high jumps as well as push-offs. Missing the trampoline will really be a danger, which possibly cancels out the benefit of low-impact aerobic exercises.
How Injuries Occur
Most trampoline injuries occur if there will be more than a person making use of the trampoline. Further reasons are as follows:
- Wrong landing while jumping
- Wrong landing while doing somersaults or flipping, must not be permitted due to the risk of neck and head injuries
- Jump or fall off the trampoline
- Try stunts
- Strike or even struck off by another individual
- Land on the frame or springs
Choose the Right Sized Trampoline
The most important thing to remember is that trampolines can be very safe if you purchase the proper sized model and take the necessary precautions. Trampolines come in several different sizes, including mini, standard and super trampolines.
The type you choose should depend on the age of the child who will be using it, as well as your budget.
Mini trampolines are smaller, which makes them safer because they require less space and are lower to the ground. Kids can’t jump very high on these models, but they can’t fall very far either.
These models generally have an enclosure around them and are smaller in size than other models, making them ideal for younger children.
Standard trampolines are larger than mini models and higher off the ground, which makes them sturdier and safer to use. These models are ideal for older children or adults because they give the user more room to jump around, but they still have built-in safety features. These models have a mesh cover that prevents the user from falling off the trampoline.
How to Maximize Trampoline Safety for Your Children
As parents, the safety of our children is always our main concern. But let’s be honest, trampolines are not a relatively safe recreational activity.
Maybe today’s kids are bored and think their parents’ concerns are superfluous, but it inspired me to talk about trampoline safety today. We don’t want to dissuade them from exercising while having fun, we just want to make sure they don’t get hurt in the process.
#1: Keep The Trampoline Away From Other Things
If you have a small backyard, it can be hard to put the trampoline in a safe place… and if you can’t do that, it may be better to remove it entirely.
Ideally, a trampoline will be at least 9 feet away from anything a child can smack into, like a tree or a wall. This kind of ‘safety perimeter’, where there’s only grass, may significantly reduce the severity of injuries if they fall.
#2: Install Safety Pads
Many manufacturers offer safety pads that can go over the springs and stop kids from getting pinched after landing in a bad spot.
It doesn’t really matter how large or small your trampoline is – safety pads are always a good idea.
As a bonus, these types of pads help to protect the springs from weathering and corrosion.
You should still check the springs on a regular basis – at least weekly, if the trampoline gets used a lot – but the risks of damage are much lower when you have the pads installed.
#3: Teach Them How To Control Their Jumps
This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many parents don’t know how high their child can safely jump. (Apologies in advance for all the math.)
More importantly, though, a bad jump can lead to a bad landing, and that’s when kids tend to tumble off the trampoline.
The solution, of course, is fairly simple – teach kids how to control their jumps and recognize if they aren’t launching correctly.
Similarly, make it clear that they should relax and take a short rest if they start to get tired. Trampolines can be an intense workout, and if they learn to pace themselves, they can have fun for a lot longer.
#4: Get A Trampoline Ladder
A trampoline ladder is a small device that allows people to safely climb in and out of a trampoline. Since many trampolines are high off the ground, these are ideal regardless of age. Alas, this is where safety gets a little complicated. Most trampoline ladders attach directly to the edge of the trampoline, which puts them in direct competition with most safety mats.
If you want to use both, there are only two good options. First, you can look for a safety mat that already has trampoline ladder holes and then get a matching ladder. This is the preferred method. Alternatively, you can cut a hole in the safety mat and sew more fabric to the exposed area, creating your own place to mount the ladder.
#5: Install The Trampoline On A Proper Surface
It’s easy to put a trampoline on a concrete slab – it’s flat and big enough to hold the thing, so it works, right?
Unfortunately, this is another common mistake. A trampoline should be on a flat surface …… But this surface should also be good at absorbing energy and impact.
The ideal surface for a trampoline is wood chips, sand and grass.
It’s no coincidence that these are the same surfaces used in many playgrounds.
#6: Install A Safety Net
This is a great companion to the safety mat that goes over the springs and you may have seen them on other trampolines. Simply put, the safety net helps stop children from falling off the trampoline, and that’s all we need to know!
…… Or rather, I would say that different nets may work better or worse on a particular trampoline.
First check to see if the manufacturer of the trampoline offers a net, then search the internet to find the highest quality alternatives.
The safety of children is always the most important consideration when deciding which net to purchase.
#7: Discourage Acrobatics
If you look online, you will find many videos of people performing impressive stunts using trampolines. This is exactly the kind of stuff your kids want to imitate, even though they really shouldn’t.
It’s hard to stop them if you’re not supervising them every second of the day …… But there is one method that is usually reliable. Offer to let them go to class.
When you get the trampoline, ask your child straight up if they are interested in stunts, acrobatics and other fancy moves. Make it clear that you’re not judging this desire as wrong, because kids tend to say ‘no’ if they’re worried you won’t let them jump. Instead, explain that you just want to make sure they are safe and that you are willing to sign them up for a class that can teach them how to do stunts.
If you are supportive rather than judgmental, your child is more likely to tell the truth and be honest about what they want to do on the trampoline.
#8: Teach Your Children To Move Things Out From Under The Trampoline
The area under the trampoline should always be kept free of pets, toys, friends and other things your child may have left behind. However, instead of checking every time, teach your kids to clean under the trampoline.
Most of them learn quickly, especially if you can make it a habit. Try to emphasize the ways in which falling on something under the trampoline can take the fun out of it for them. If they lose their balance, they may fall in a way that is difficult to continue, and that is what most of them want to avoid.
#9: Children Under 6 Don’t Get To Jump
Children who are too young to safely use a full trampoline. It’s not a matter of training or experience – they just aren’t developed enough to have full control over their jumps. If they keep expressing interest, you can buy or borrow a miniature trampoline for them to use. These are more suitable for children and will allow them to enjoy some bouncing without the power of a full trampoline.
Mini trampolines also tend to come with extremely high nets for added safety.
#10: Teach Kids To Land In The Center
The center is easily the safest place to be on a trampoline. In fact, unless they do something particularly strange, kids hardly ever fall off after jumping from the middle. The edges – where there is less bounce and more resistance – are where the real threat lies.
Try to avoid making this about what your kids can’t do, though. Instead, emphasize that the middle of the trampoline has the best bounce. If they want to go high – and most kids do – that’s where they should be. As long as they have a net around the outside, they should be just fine.
#11: Go To The Doctor First
No, not before every jump – that would be ridiculous. However, your child should see a doctor before they start jumping for the first time to make sure their bones are strong enough to withstand the stress of trampoline training.
If you plan to purchase a trampoline in the future, this can be as easy as asking the doctor at their annual physical. To add to the fun, buy (or pick up) the trampoline right after the doctor’s appointment. This can turn an otherwise boring trip into something more exciting than your child expected.
(Alternatively, if you can’t leave it in the car, have one parent set up the trampoline while the other gets approval from the doctor – weather permitting, of course.)
#12: Parental Supervision is Required
Children should never be allowed to use a trampoline without adult supervision.
It helps if you put the trampoline somewhere you can easily see from inside the house. That makes it much more practical to keep an eye on them without having to interrupt your routine every time they want to play.
#13: Ensure They Wear Appropriate Clothing
Finally, make sure all your children are wearing appropriate clothing. In general, clothes that are too wide or have strings hanging out (like many boys’ pants and shorts) are bad because they can get caught in springs. Having safety pads can greatly reduce this, but it is still possible for clothes to get caught on something and it is best to be as safe as possible.
Trampolines are fun, but only proper safety measures will ensure they remain fun for years to come.
The Benefits You Get From Bouncing
Nowadays, most of the kids are too buzzing about a backyard trampoline. This is because that there are several healthy reasons found behind trampolining.
You will be able to get pleasure from cardio exercises on a bouncy surface with more fun. Further, your knees, which blew out running, would surely love low-impact aerobics.
In fact, your heart rate will get a boost when you reach heights while jumping. Vigorous bouncing burns calories, which in turn releases endorphins designed to boost your spirits.
Repetitive cycles of weight bearing and weightlessness coupled with explosive movements help build muscle responsiveness and bone density, similar to training for metered exercise.
In addition, a recent study found that bouncing offers a variety of benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, avoidance of the dangers associated with high-impact exercise, kinesthetic awareness, increased calorie burn, reduced risk of overuse injuries, and adaptation to a wide range of fitness levels.