Pediatricians know how addictive and fun trampolines can be for kids. Unfortunately, we often see trampoline-related accidents in our exam rooms because kids don’t understand the proper safety precautions before they start jumping.
As a result, we find ourselves treating fractures and sprains in the wrists, back and knees. As a parent, it’s vital to monitor trampoline activity to make sure your kids stay safe.
Here are few tips to keep your kids safe while they’re on the trampoline.
- Do not allow tumbling. Tumbling presents more opportunities for injury. If your child wants to tumble, consider enrolling them in gymnastics, where a professional can teach them how to tumble safely with the right equipment.
- Consider trampoline placement. The placement of the trampoline is important. It should be on a flat, level surface. Avoid cement or hard surfaces and try to place the trampoline on soft, cushiony surfaces like grass. Try to place it in a relatively open area, with few trees, keeping other objects like tools and toys far away. If you don’t have space like this, reconsider purchasing a trampoline as it could present immediate safety concerns.
- Maintain the trampoline. Pack your trampoline away in the winter so the natural elements don’t weaken or destroy it. Check the trampoline netting, padding, poles and screws each month to make sure everything is still tight, attached, and secure. There shouldn’t be any holes or deflated cushioning. It’s wise to also install a safety net upon purchasing a trampoline.
- One child at a time. There should only be one child jumping on the trampoline at any time. More than one child increases the chance of an accident.
- Never leave your child alone. Kids should always have an adult spotter to watch them while they’re jumping. That way if there’s an injury, an adult can be there immediately to assist.
- Take injuries seriously. It’s important for kids to take any injuries they have on the trampoline seriously. Often, kids will not admit when they’re feeling back, wrist, knee or head pain from the trampoline for fear of it being taken away. If you see your child experiencing pain or see that they have injured themselves, make sure they rest, elevate and ice the injury. If you’ve administered pain relievers and they are still experiencing discomfort, visit the emergency department or urgent care for x-rays. As always, stop trampoline use while your child recovers from an injury and if there have been multiple injuries in a short amount of time, consider removing it altogether.