The sight of a trampoline would have any neighbor kid jumping for joy — and wanting to join the fun. On the other hand, backyard trampoline injuries lead to more than 60,000 emergency room visits a year, according to a study from the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study goes on to cite dislocation, sprains, fractures, cuts and abrasions as the most common trampoline injuries. At their most serious, injuries can result in spine and skull fractures.
What leads to a trampoline injury? Here are the most common causes:
- Falls from the bouncy surface and onto the ground
- Falls onto the trampoline’s hard frame and springs
- A collision between two or more jumpers
To protect your guests from trampoline injuries, here are a few things you can do:
- Get a locking trampoline enclosure and put the ladder away when the trampoline isn’t in use. Set up the trampoline a safe distance from trees, walls and other hazards.
- Be proactive. If kids live in your neighborhood, stop by and give the parents a heads-up. Make them aware that you want their kids to be safe, so it’s important they don’t enter your yard and use the trampoline when you aren’t around. While you’re at it, post a sign near the trampoline.
- If you love working with gadgets, consider a smart-technology security system, such as a motion-activated video camera that alerts you when an uninvited visitor enters your trampoline area so you can respond right away.
It’s probably not a surprise that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children never jump on trampolines. In spite of that, they do offer guidelines for safer jumping:
- Jumping children should always be supervised by an adult.
- Cover frames and springs with protective padding and install a trampoline enclosure.
- Do not allow more than one jumper on a trampoline at a time.
- Do not allow the children to do flips or somersaults.