For many children, summer means a season full of jumping, playing and running around. Although trampolines, bounce houses, ATVs and jet skis are commonly used for summer fun, this doesn’t mean that they are always safe.

Fortunately, you can encourage your child to have a fun and safe summer by following these safety tips from Stephen Teach, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatrician who specializes in emergency medicine and trauma services at Children’s National Health System:


Proper supervision is essential in ensuring your child has the best experience possible while participating in any outdoor activity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions against home and recreational trampoline use due to the many injuries that can occur. So although it is discouraged, if your child is using a trampoline, in the very least make sure they are heavily supervised.

In younger kids, more head injuries are associated with the use of trampolines and bounce houses. In older kids, injuries tend to be associated with hitting the sides of the frame or falling off altogether, so there are more long-term injuries – bone injuries, broken arms or legs or even internal injuries. Attempts at “flips” should not be allowed.

Bounce Houses

For bounce houses it’s important to make sure you are always following the recommendations for age requirements and the maximum number of occupants allowed at one time. All children should be the same size to avoid risk of injury from colliding with or falling under another child. Ideally, only one child should enter at a time.

It is also important to make sure children entering the bounce house do not have objects in their pockets or hands that could cause further injury. Kids should take off footwear, eyeglasses and jewelry before getting on the set.


When operating an ATV, all state and local regulations should be followed. A child under the age of 16 should not operate an ATV, and those who are older should wear the proper protective headgear and proceed with caution while operating.  Instruction and supervision by an experienced adult are essential.

Jet Skis

Children must follow all age regulations before hopping on a jet ski and must also have a size-appropriate flotation device. Children should be appropriately instructed, and many jurisdictions offer safety courses.

The use of these machines should be closely supervised and limited. Adults should never involve a child in the operation of an ATV or jet ski when the adult is under the influence of any kind.

This blog post originally appeared in Northern Virginia Magazine online.


Stephen Teach Stephen J. Teach, MD, MPH, is the Associate Dean for Pediatric Academic Affairs and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; and Director and Principal Investigator of IMPACT DC (Improving Pediatric Asthma Care in the District of Columbia), a care, research, and advocacy program focused on under-resourced and largely minority children with asthma.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get free parenting tips delivered to your inbox every week!

Related Content

little girl sitting in car
mom putting bike helmet on son
teen boy at football practice
boy wearing a life jacket in swimming pool
Autistic girl on a swing
emergency kit
girl pitching softball
little girl in a swimsuit and a protective mask
Girsl softball team sitting in the dugout
group of kids eating ice cream
little boy with mosquito netting hat
Little boy drinking water from public fountain
girl watching fireworks
kids in a swimming pool
girl preparing barbecue in the garden
Little child watering tulips
a road full of snow covered cars
Three kids jumping on large trampoline
mom putting suncreen on daughter
0 replies

Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.