Trampolines can be a source of serious injury for children, more so than playground equipment. Look at the numbers: The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 80,831 emergency room visits in 2016 due to playground accidents. In comparison, 103,512 ER visits were reported for trampoline accidents, and it is safe to assume that children spend more time on playground equipment than on trampolines, which are fewer in number and less accessible.
Trampolines can never be completely safe. However, the lack of safety measures surrounding some can rise to the level of negligence. Here is a look at some essentials for trampoline safety.
Age levels: Children younger than six years old do not belong on trampolines.
Placement: Put trampolines in a fenced space to discourage children in the area from being able to access them easily. Also, trampolines need to be on a flat area that is some distance from trees and other hazards. No ladders or chairs should be nearby because children can use them to climb unsupervised on a trampoline.
Adult supervision: When children are jumping, adults should always be around to supervise. Ideally, several would be positioned around a trampoline to act as spotters.
The number of jumpers: Only one child should jump on a trampoline at any given time.
Getting off: To get off a trampoline, children should sit at the edge and slide off–never bounce off.
Behavior: Trampolines should be for jumping, not for gymnastics exercises such as flipping or somersaulting.
Dry surface: Wet trampolines should not be jumped on.
While these measures cannot prevent all injuries, they may minimize the chances of injuries happening or their severity. The use of a trampoline can result in death or serious injuries such as paralysis, permanent neurological damage, brain injury and fractures. The most common injuries tend to be sprains, contusions and strains.
Having only one person jump at a time is key to preventing many of the more severe injuries. They tend to occur when multiple jumpers land at the same time or collide.