Home Trampoline Safety: What Parents Should Know

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Susannah Briskin, MD

Home trampolines have spiked in popularity recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But they cause thousands of injuries every year in the United States.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents not to buy a home trampoline, including mini trampolines and large outdoor trampolines. The AAP tells parents to encourage their child to get physical activity in other ways -- like riding a bike, playing sports or playing backyard games.

High Risk for Harm

Trampoline injuries can be far more serious than bruises, scrapes and cuts, says Susannah Briskin, MD, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Trampoline use can cause these injuries:

  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Sprains
  • Head injuries
  • In some cases, serious spinal cord injury and death

“Injuries can happen even when a trampoline has padding and a net enclosure, and even when an adult is supervising,” says Dr. Briskin. Children younger than age 6 are at greatest risk for harm. Trampoline injuries can happen when a jumper tries flips or other stunts. He or she may land badly, fall off, or fall on the trampoline spring or frame. If two or more people are jumping, they may crash into each other.

“No more than one jumper should ever be on a trampoline at a time," Dr. Briskin says. “The most common situation for an injury is when two or more people are present, and it’s typically the smallest one who gets hurt.”

Dr. Briskin adds, “Trampoline parks also carry the same risks. Collisions with other people may be even more common due to the crowded environment.”

What To Do

Dr. Briskin recommends taking these steps if you do have a home trampoline:

  • Check your homeowner’s insurance. Make sure your policy covers trampoline injuries.
  • Check the trampoline often for damage. Make sure all the protective padding is in place. Make sure the netting has no holes or rips. Repair any damage before it’s used again.
  • Make sure an adult supervises all jumping time. Don’t let anyone on the trampoline without an adult nearby to watch.
  • Make rules and enforce them. Permit only one person on the trampoline at a time. Forbid jumpers from doing tricks that can cause injury. This includes flips and somersaults. Don’t allow jumpers to jump with objects. They can cause injury to the jumper.

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There are less than 200 board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric sports medicine physicians in the country and all of the pediatric sports medicine experts at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s have this specialized training. In fact, we have a full team of sports medicine doctors dedicated to treating athletes of any age – from toddlers through adolescence and teenagers or young adults. Learn more about pediatric sports medicine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's.

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