Can Trampolines Be Safe for Kids?

Can Trampolines Be Safe for Kids?

Can trampolines be safe for kids? An Israeli pediatric centre recently published a report covering visits to their medical centre over three years. It found that, out of 23,248 visits to the clinic, trampoline injuries accounted for 1.05% of all visits. They released this to raise awareness of the risks of trampoline jumping for kids. Their report highlighted that, out of 244 children who sustained injuries, 130 (over half) had injuries to their legs and feet. Over a third had arm injuries, and one-tenth (20) had spinal injuries. Over half of all visits were bone fractures, and over a third required a visit to the operating room. That one sole activity can account for a full one percent of all childhood visits to A&E should give us all pause for thought and consider whether trampolines can be made safe for kids. And if so, how?

The Single Most Important Safety Precaution

A safety net is the most essential safety feature and a must for anyone, child or adult, considering a trampoline. Two main causes of injury on a trampoline are falling from the jumping surface to the ground and injuries related to dismounting the trampoline. Both of these risks can be massively reduced with a safety net. A good quality safety net will completely encapsulate the jumping surface, exposing at the outer edges only the well-padded areas. This massively reduces the risk of falling off the trampoline, making it extremely unlikely in almost all cases. These safety nets are made of durable materials and firmly anchored and supported. As a result, a well-maintained net does an excellent job of keeping kids within the safety boundaries.
Safety nets also allow you to restrict entry and exit from the jumping surface to one point. Kids tend to love jumping off the mat from any point. It’s fun but also dangerous as it exposes the ankles and legs to injury for even the slightest misstep. Restricting dismounting to one point means you can place a step there. So rather than hopping off, they are getting off more carefully. Another alternative is to consider an in-ground trampoline. These are at ground level. Combined with a safety net, they massively reduce the risks of falling-related injuries.

Can Trampolines Be Safe for Kids with Proper Supervision?

Kids will always be kids, and there’s no shielding them from every risk. However, it is essential to have proper supervision at all times when children are using a trampoline. Only one child at a time should use the jumping surface – another high-risk activity is horseplay, especially when two or more people use the jumping mat simultaneously. This situation makes kids highly prone to mid-air collisions and other accidents. This can be avoided with strict supervision, but if left unattended, kids are highly likely to do this simply because it’s fun. Also, discourage aerobic stunts, in particular flips. There is a time and a place to learn these stunts, which is with professional gymnasts in a learning environment with proper safety precautions and equipment in place to prevent injuries.

Ultimately, we cannot protect kids from all risks, but when a single activity is the source of so many issues, it does make sense to treat it differently. Trampolining is a fun and very healthy activity which is great for kids when done safely and under strict supervision. Two great options to consider which drastically reduce the risks are the Berg Inground Elite and EXIT Elegant. You can order either of these with a safety net, and since they are in-ground, they drastically increase the safety of trampolining.

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