Reduce Injuries When Using Home Trampolines

Trampolines offer tons of fun for youngsters and adults alike.  The trampoline is also an Olympic sport showing off their best performance skills of contestants globally.  Competition exercising should not be done on a home trampoline—it is too dangerous for a novice.

Your backyard or acres in the country are ideal places to get your kids outside to get some needed exercise and away from their phones and x-boxes.  In the USA, we are so aware of the dangers associated from using trampolines.  This article will provide you with some safe ideas for you and your kids, including those belonging to the neighbors.

Supervision is important when your kids are learning.  Many sports facilities offer trampoline lessons.

In 2003, doctors, hospital emergency rooms, and clinics treated 211,646 trampoline injuries in children under age 19, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

It’s fun and exciting to watch children jumping and doing cute stunts on the trampoline.  But if we think trampoline exercise is safe and healthy for children, we’re utterly mistaken. Serious injuries have been reported, especially in children, including sprains, strains, contusions, and fractures stemming from a fall.  Severe injuries are not all that common, but some injuries can result in paralysis and death and some head, cervical spine injuries, and vertebral artery dissection.  Cervical spine injuries often occur with falls off the trampoline or with attempts at somersaults or flips.

Young children are also at higher risk of fractures and dislocations and will usually need hospitalization compared to older children and adolescents.  In the 6- to 17-year age group, more than one-fourth consisted of fractures or dislocations, as compared with 48% in children 5 years and younger.

Sprains, fractures and dislocations of the lower legs and ankles are the most frequently reported injury up to 50%.  One-fourth to one-third suffer from upper leg injuries, and around 60% are fractures.

Your liability from injuries

With neighborhood kids, resulting injuries can lead to liabilities for you.  Is your homeowner’s insurance up to date?  If someone is hurt, it will be considered the homeowner’s responsibility.  Some insurance companies exclude trampolines, require fences to be built around them, and some insurance providers do not cover trampolines period.  You might want to check your policy or chat with your agent when considering a trampoline.

Trampoline industry and standards for safety

Voluntary safety standards have been instituted by the industry to include:

  1. Improving trampoline padding quality;
  2. Trampolines should have nets around the sides to prevent falls;
  3. Extending the padding to the springs and frame; and
  4. No ladders to prevent very young kids from getting on the trampoline.

Package warning from trampoline manufacturers

In bold large print warnings will include:

  1. Avoid somersaulting;
  2. Restrict multiple users;
  3. Only kids 6 years and older to use; and
  4. Adult supervision.

It seems that adults are not fully aware of the injuries that can result with no thoughts to stop the risky jumping on trampolines.  The injuries happen when more than one person is on the unit.  Kids become rowdy and careless—that’s the way kids are.

Safety suggestions for all kids

  • Only one person at a time on the trampoline;
  • Trampolines should be equipped with protective padding;
  • Somersaults and flips not allowed; and
  • An adult willing to enforce safety rules should always be present.

People will not stop buying trampolines for their kids.  Follow these no-nonsense ideas to make jumping on trampolines safer.  Injuries happen most often when there are multiple jumpers because they can collide with each other or catapult one another off the trampoline.

The average kid can jump 8- to 10-feet and that is very high.  Falling off a raised trampoline could be a 13-foot fall that can cause severe injuries when they bounce off.  Be sure to have your trampoline on a soft area such as grass and never have it on stones or sand.

Be sure to check the mat, supporting bars, and rigging for damage and wear.  Make sure you can see the kids on the trampoline from inside your house.  Make sure the trampoline is secure from wind because heavy winds can blow them over.  It might be a good idea to secure the trampoline in place.

Exercises for basic level beginners

  1. Straight Jump: Body straight, arms above head, jump straight up (vertically) for taking off.
  1. Pike Jump: Legs are straight ahead of you parallel to the trampoline mat at about 90-degrees, arms, and body bend at waist to toes you can touch.
  1. Tuck Jump: Knees pulled up to the chest and hands briefly hold the legs between the ankle and the knee before landing on the trampoline mat.
  1. Straddle Jump: Similar to straight jump but legs are spread open 90-degrees then return to a standing position.
  1. Seat Drop: Land you butt on the mat seated with legs straight and arms at side of body, palms down, finger tips forward.
  1. Swivel Hips: Do the seat drop, above, bounce up but do not land, turn around half-way, 90-degrees, and do a seat drop facing the opposite direction.
  1. Half Twist: Do a vertical straight jump and turn 180-degrees before landing.
  1. Full Twist: Do a vertical straight jump and turn 360-degrees before landing.

The above exercises should be done only with adult supervision with only 1 person using the trampoline at a time.  The spotter(s) should stand at the side of the trampoline.

In the competitive sport of trampolines, somersaults are performed in 3 shapes of tuck, pike, and straight and can be performed either forwards, backwards or sideways.

Somersaults should never be performed on a backyard trampoline due to the high risk of head and neck injuries.

Remember the safety rules for adventure to walk away safe

  • Do not jump off the trampoline;
  • Do not crawl under the trampoline;
  • No child under 6-years-old on backyard trampolines;
  • Put the trampoline in a safe clear area away from fences, trees, bushes, bird baths, rocks, and flower gardens;
  • Use a safety net; and
  • Parents, teach your children…and teach them well…

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