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Buying a Trampoline

Safety Basics

By

Updated February 26, 2005

Home trampolines are popular with children and you often see them in the backyards of many families.

Unfortunately, they are also dangerous.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • in 2001 there were 91,870 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with trampolines, and:
    • 93 percent of the victims were under 15 years of age
    • 11 percent were under 5 years of age
  • 30% of trampoline-related injuries treated in an emergency department were fractures often resulting in hospitalization and surgery
  • since 1990, there have been 6 deaths of children under age 15 involving trampolines
Most of these injuries and deaths are caused by children colliding with each other, landing improperly while jumping or doing stunts, falling off the trampoline, or falling on the trampoline springs or frame. And most of the injuries involved the home use of trampolines.

To help avoid injuries from trampolines, you should follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and simply never 'purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines' and don't make trampolines a part of outdoor playgrounds or play equipment. Keep in mind that even in a supervised training program, children under age 6 years should not use trampolines.

So the basic advice for a parent that is considering buying a home trampoline is that you simply not do it.

If you must have a home trampoline, you should:

  • allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.
  • not attempt or allow somersaults because landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis.
  • not use the trampoline without shock-absorbing pads that completely cover its springs, hooks, and frame.
  • place the trampoline away from structures, trees, and other play areas.
  • not allow a child under 6 years of age to use a full-size trampoline and do not use a ladder with the trampoline because it provides unsupervised access by small children.
  • always supervise children who use a trampoline.
  • use a trampoline enclosure, which can help prevent injuries from falls off trampolines.
  • use impact absorbing safety surface material around the trampoline
  • regularly check the trampoline to make sure that it is in good working condition and that it hasn't been involved in a safety recall
  • encourage users to jump in the center of the trampoline mat

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