You Can Call Me Scrooge: Just Say No to the Home Trampoline


Is Santa planning to place a trampoline under your tree this year?

At the risk of being Scrooge, I am going to suggest that you don’t allow it. And, I am not alone.

The also Scooge-like American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “strongly discourages” the use of home trampolines.

Sure, while the majority of injuries are sprained ankles, an annoying but relatively benign injury, almost 30 percent were broken bones or dislocations and about 10 to 17 percent are injuries that involve heads and necks. There is nothing insignificant about these kinds of injuries from at-home trampolines.

According to the AAP, there are three common causes of at-home trampoline accidents:

  1. More than one person at a time on the trampoline. About 75% of the injuries involved more than one person jumping at a time, with the small of the two jumpers 14 times more likely to be the one injured.
  2. Flying falls from the trampoline. Oh but yours has netting? Don’t get too excited. Typically the netting around an at-home trampoline provides only minimal help. From failure from improper installation to the equipment simply not holding up, netting is not a sufficient safety measure for trampolines.
  3. Impact from falling on frame or springs. Again, the padding for at home trampolines do not do the job of significant protection. The warranty on padding is actually shorter than the warranty on the trampoline itself.

Not convinced? Or has Santa already promised the trampoline? Or does one already reside in your home? Then at least take some good precautions developed by the AAP:

  • Never allow more than one person to jump at the same time. (Yes, that includes you).
  • Tell kids not to attempt somersaults and flips (these are among the most common causes of permanent, devastating cervical spine injuries).
  • Adults must provide constant, active supervision and should be willing to enforce all safety guidelines.  I repeat: constant supervision.
  • Homeowners should verify that their insurance policies cover trampoline related claims.
  • Trampolines should have adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed.
  • Trampolines should be set at ground level whenever possible, or on a level surface and in an area cleared of any surrounding hazards.
  • Protective padding, net enclosure, and any other damaged parts should be inspected frequently and replaced as needed.
  • Trampolines should be discarded if replacement parts are unavailable and the product is worn or damaged.

In short, treat a trampoline as you would treat a swimming pool. You would not allow you children and her friends to swim without supervision. (At least I hope you wouldn’t).

Repeating: Do not allow play on the trampoline without supervision.

Finally, get your kids to the gym to make sure that they understand basic trampoline safety. Post a sign like this one that reinforces the safety rules. Be sure to go over the rules with all of the guests in your home. And, of course, enrolling your child in gymnastics is a great way to keep your child fit and in practice to use the trampoline.