Pediatricians know how fun and addictive trampolines can be for kids. Unfortunately, we often see trampoline-related accidents in emergency rooms because kids don’t understand the proper safety precautions before they start jumping. That, paired with little adult supervision is the perfect recipe for disaster.
Every year, doctors in thousands of hospitals across America find themselves treating fractures and sprains in the wrists, back, and knees. As a parent, it’s vital to monitor trampoline activity to make sure kids stay safe. Here are few tips:
1. Don’t allow them to tumble.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 our ER 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.
about the author
Dr. Aditi Sidana is a pediatrician, guest Health contributor, mother of two and part of a beautiful homeschooling family. Look out for more of her excellent tips and health articles in the #NoniTribe Health Blog.