by Katherine Allen

Trampoline sales have increased exponentially since companies began marketing them as staples for backyard fun. Recently, it has become common for adults to use trampolines for exercise, as well. Globe Newswire estimated the U.S. trampoline market to be worth $3 billion in 2020. Experts expect that value to increase to $3.9 billion by 2026.

However, The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that backyard trampolines are not safe for children and, in fact, pose a high risk of severe injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported more than 300,000 medically-treated trampoline injuries in 2018. Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center estimates that children sustain more than 90% of trampoline injuries, with most of these injuries occurring to children between 5 and 14years old. More than 75% of trampoline injuries happen when more than one child is jumping on the trampoline simultaneously.

So, how can families keep their children as safe as they can be when using the trampoline?

Follow these steps from The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to minimize or avoid trampoline injuries.

  • Do not use worn or damaged trampolines.
  • Only allow children older than 6 years to use the trampoline.
  • Ensure that padding is in good condition and position it appropriately to reduce the risk of accidents associated with uncovered springs and supporting bars.
  • Allow only one person to use a trampoline at a time.
  • Remove trampoline ladders after use to prevent young children from getting on the trampoline unsupervised.
  • Do not allow users to perform somersaults or backflips without proper supervision, instruction and safety equipment. Equipment may include mats to land on or an enclosure around the trampoline to keep the person from falling off.
  • Keep toys off of the trampoline so they cannot cause injuries.
  • Supervise children who are using the trampoline.
  • Place the trampoline on a soft surface away from trees, fences and other structures.
  • Remove jewelry or other loose items before using the trampoline.
  • Ensure that any clothing worn on the trampoline is suitable for that purpose. Remove shoes and socks to reduce the risk of slipping. Shoes may also damage the trampoline or come off while the person is jumping. For indoor trampolines, it is common to wear socks with grips. Comfortable, lightweight clothing with an elastic waistband is ideal for trampoline use. Avoid zippers or other materials that could be painful to fall on or damage the trampoline.

Trampoline accidents cannot be eliminated, even for those who practice the tips above every time they use a trampoline. Therefore, every household with a trampoline must have adequate house insurance, which covers trampoline injuries. Insurance is even more necessary if younger relatives or children’s friends use the trampoline.