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
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