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Trampolines: What You Need to Know

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Trampolines are popular among children and teens and even among some adults. Though it may be fun to jump and do somersaults on a trampoline, landing wrong can cause serious, permanent injuries. Injuries can occur even when a trampoline has a net and padding and parents are watching. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about common trampoline injuries and how they occur.

Common injuries

Thousands of people are injured on trampolines each year. Most of these injuries happen on home trampolines. Children younger than 6 years are at greatest risk of injury. Common injuries include

  • Broken bones (Sometimes surgery is needed.)

  • Concussions and other head injuries

  • Sprains/strains

  • Bruises, scrapes, and cuts

  • Head and neck injuries (which can lead to permanent paralysis or death)

How injuries occur

Most trampoline injuries occur when there is more than one person using a trampoline. Children can get hurt when they

  • Land wrong while jumping.

  • Land wrong while flipping and doing somersaults (this should not be allowed because of the risk of head and neck injuries).

  • Try stunts.

  • Strike or are struck by another person.

  • Fall or jump off the trampoline.

  • Land on the springs or frame.

What you can do to keep your children safe

Don't buy a trampoline for your home! Trampolines may be popular and a fun way to get exercise, but there are safer ways to encourage your children to be physically active, such as playing catch, riding a bike (don't forget a bike helmet), or playing a team sport. The AAP recommends that mini and full-sized trampolines never be used at home, in routine gym classes, or on playgrounds. They should only be used in supervised training programs for gymnastics, diving, or other competitive sports. Only one person should be allowed on a trampoline at any given time.

If you choose to have a home trampoline, the AAP recommends the following safety precautions: adult supervision at all times, only one jumper on the trampoline at a time, and no somersaults should be performed. Also, trampolines should have adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed. All equipment should be checked often and protective padding, the net enclosure, and any other parts should be repaired or replaced when damaged. Parents should check their homeowner's policy and obtain a rider to cover trampoline-related injuries if not included in the basic policy.

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