Few backyard activities can match jumping on a trampoline for pure fun. Unfortunately, trampoline injuries result in more than 60,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms each year.
A few simple precautions can help keep jumpers safe.
Nothing can eliminate the danger of injuries and lawsuits that often result from use of a trampoline on your property. But here a few common sense steps you can take to help reduce those risks.
Be aware of how most injuries occur.
75% of injuries result from person-to-person contact: do not allow more than one person on the trampoline at a time. The most common injury-causing incidents:
- Colliding with another person on the trampoline
- Landing improperly while jumping or doing stunts on the trampoline
- Falling or jumping off the trampoline
- Falling on the trampoline springs, frame or ladder
Follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts to maximize safety.
- ALWAYS supervise children when they use to trampoline.
- Keep ladders away from trampolines to prevent unsupervised access.
- Make sure that fences and doors that allow access to the trampoline are locked.
- Place trampoline away from hazards such as structures, trees, pools and hot tubs.
- Use trampoline nets or enclosures to minimize falls from trampoline. (Nets and enclosures are not a substitute for adult supervision.)
- Inspect your trampoline often for tears in the cover or exposed metal parts.
- Check for bent or broken parts and disconnected hooks.
- Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
- Do not allow children under six to use any trampoline. Note, too, that mini trampolines pose the same risks as full-size trampolines.
- Do not allow more than one person on the trampoline at a time.
- Do not attempt or allow somersaults because landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis.
- Do not use the trampoline without shock-absorbing pads that completely cover its springs, hooks, and frame.
- Do not place a trampoline in areas not enclosed by a fence.
- Do not place trampoline near structures that can be jumped from, including buildings, fences, walls or trees.
- Do not place trampoline on or near concrete patios or driveways.
A final thought: Once you have done everything you can to make your trampoline accident-resistant, you should also find out if your children's friends have trampolines. If they do, be sure to share this information with them before sending your kids over to play.
Source (for emergency room statistics only): Linakis et. al of Hasbro Children’s Hospital; study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting, 2005.