As Pediatricians, we know how addictive and fun trampolines can be for kids. However, we often see trampoline-related accidents in our exam rooms because kids don’t understand the proper safety precautions before they start jumping.
Accidents can happen, and when they do we find ourselves treating fractures and sprains of the wrists, back, and knees. As a parent, it’s critical to monitor trampoline activity to make sure your kids stay safe.
Here are few tips to keep your kids safe while on the trampoline.
The placement of the trampoline is first thing to think about when you get it. Things to keep in mind are; it needs to be on a flat, level surface, while avoiding hard surfaces and cement areas. Placing on soft, cushion-y, grassy surfaces are ideal. Look around the area for possible obstacles. Is the area free of trees, tools, toys, buildings, etc? If not, choose another potential area. Having an open area, free of objects will help minimize potential injuries and safety concerns.
Ensure that you properly maintain your trampoline. Read the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance plan. Check for safety every month; check the netting for holes and to ensure it is secure, check padding, poles and screws to ensure they are still tight and securely in place, check for holes and rips. Pack up your trampoline in the winter (colder weather), this will help ensure that natural elements don’t weaken or destroy the trampoline. We strongly suggest having a safety net around the trampoline, this helps to ensure children don’t go flying off.
Some best practices to follow, when your children are playing on the trampoline:
Only allow 1 child at a time to jump. When there is more than one child jumping it increases the possibility that an accident will occur. Never leave the children unattended. If an injury does occur, by being close by you can get them attention immediately. Be cautious when allowing tumbling or tricks. If your children want to tumble or preform tricks on the trampoline, ensure they have been taught by a professional how to safely do the tricks. Tumbling and tricks present the best opportunity for injuries.
If your child does get hurt, take the injury seriously. Kids, often do not admit when they are feeling pain, as they fear they trampoline will be taken away if they are injured on it. If you notice anything out of the ordinary and over the counter pain relievers are not offering relief from the pain, bring them in for a visit or take them to the ER for evaluation.
The key to successfully having a family trampoline is preventing hazards that can cause injuries. If an injury does occur, then seek professional help to evaluate the extent of the injuries.