Children's Hospital Colorado

The Top Tips for Trampoline Safety

Trampolines are really fun. It’s why they’re so popular with kids and adults alike. Jumping can be great exercise for the whole body, yet it doesn’t feel like traditional exercise because it’s so enjoyable. But, as with any activity or sport, there is trampoline risk — especially for younger kids and especially if jumpers aren’t following trampoline safety rules.

An increasing number of injuries

Children’s Hospital Colorado pediatric orthopedic surgeon Gaia Georgopoulos, MD, and her team have seen a steady increase over the past few years in the number of trampoline injuries in kids of all ages, but especially in kids between the ages of 5 and 9. “And a lot of those injuries are factures,” she says.

A fracture, commonly known as a broken bone, can happen more often in younger kids because their bones are more flexible.

Most trampoline injuries are due to jumpers bumping into each other, trying to do stunts or double bouncing each other. Double bouncing is when the rebound energy of the trampoline causes a jumper to go higher but also places excessive force on their legs. Dr. Georgopoulos says parents may be able to reduce trampoline injury risk if they keep the following things in mind:

Trampolines aren’t for all ages.

Parents should only allow children age 6 and older to jump on a full-sized trampoline and should closely monitor the activity of kids age 10 and under. Ideally, there should be a spotter, says Dr. Georgopoulos, preferably an adult.

A cage around the trampoline isn’t always safer.

Although some injuries do occur by falling off the trampoline or by falling into the frame or springs, the vast majority of injuries occur while jumping on the trampoline.

Injury can happen at an indoor trampoline park, too.

Injuries aren’t limited to backyard trampolines. Dr. Georgopoulos says that her team sees patients with injuries that occur at an indoor bounce park or inside jumping park, or even on a bounce house, and she advises parents to closely monitor their child’s activity there, as well.

Additional tips to reduce the risk of injury

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers several other trampoline safety tips to reduce trampoline risk:

  • Only one person at a time should jump on the trampoline.
  • Do not allow jumpers to attempt somersaults.
  • Always keep the trampoline springs covered with padding.
  • Do not place the trampoline near trees or other structures.
  • Supervise all children on trampolines.
  • Do not place a ladder near the trampoline because small children can potentially climb the ladder and jump unassisted.

Does your insurance company cover trampoline-related injuries?

Another thing for parents to consider is whether their homeowners insurance covers injuries sustained from trampolines. Many insurance companies have exclusions for trampoline injuries in their policies.

Parents should know that if they own a trampoline, they could be responsible for medical bills and legal costs if children, other than their own, are injured while playing on their trampoline.

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