Are trampolines safe? How to Make them safe for Toddlers Jumping

We have written a definitive guide on the therapeutic benefits of trampolines to kids with autism and ADHD. We have also seen how rebounding can actually strengthen a child’s lower limbs as well as improve their motor proficiency. And to cap it all, trampolines are real fun not only for kids but also for adults.

Are trampolines safe for toddlers?

Trampolines, therefore, are all boon, right?

Wrong.

Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System show that trampoline injuries increased from 581 in 2010 to 6932 in 2014. Trampoline injuries date back to 1956 according to a study done by Zimmerman.

Is a trampoline for 2 year old safe?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, trampolines should be discouraged for kids below 6 years.

Not to deny them the fun of rebounding but let’s face it, toddlers could get simple injuries such as sprains and bone fractures or even more complex ones such as cervical spine and skull fractures. 

toddler with an arm injury while playing on trampoline

What are some Common trampoline injuries

Research done by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) showed that between 1991 and 1999, over 100000 were treated in US hospitals for trampoline-related injuries. Shockingly, in the same period, 11 deaths were reported from the use of trampolines!

Common trampoline injuries include:

  1. Broken bones–children jumping on the trampoline are highly likely to have broken bones on their forearms and elbows. One could also break their feet or even spine. The reason for this is that they want to try dangerous flips and antics that have them risking their axial skeleton. Children hitting on each other as they jump could also cause these problems.
  2. Concussions–when they hit their head on the trampoline surfaces, kids are likely to get head concussions. You will see it when your child tends to have dilated eyes as well as feel tired all the time.

According to a study done by NCBI, the main causes of trampoline injuries included:

  • Awkward landing on the trampoline surface from a jump-53%
  • Falling off from the trampoline after a jump–22%
  • Colliding with other jumpers–13%
  • Doing a dangerous somersault–11%

Does that mean that all forms of trampolines whether park or mini-trampolines should be avoided for toddlers?

Well, not really according to me.

Owing to the awesome benefits that we saw on rebounding, you could administer trampoline therapy for your kid but ensure that an adult is nearby to supervise them. No gymnastic antics or flips are to be allowed. The mini-trampoline should be well padded on the rails plus with a net enclosure to protect your kid from potential injuries. It should also be placed on soft level ground.

Possible Causes of Trampoline injuries

Some of the injuries caused when trampolining come from:

1.       Too many jumpers on one trampoline

In park trampolines, you are likely to see a hubbub of kids of all ages jumping on the trampoline. They could easily hurt each other as they do their flips jumping on top of each other squeezing each other’s muscles. You would not want your 2-year-old autistic kid exposed to all that, would you? It gets even worse when the other kids are older, bigger and stronger since they could seriously hurt your toddler.

crowded trampoline park

Too many kids jumping on a mini-trampoline indoors is no better since it has also been shown to cause injuries on toddlers

2.       Falls from the trampoline

Unless well enclosed with a safety net, your toddler could do a high jump on the trampoline rebounding on the ground. There could be rocks and all kinds of solid materials that could hurt your toddler.

3.       Injury from the rails and metals

The rails and metals that give the trampoline its round shape could also pose a disaster. You do not want this and as such, you have to make sure that they are well padded with foam.

4.       Gymnastic flips and dangerous stunts by the kids

Kids are dramatic. You have to give that one to them. Even when you tell them to minimize their theatrics, there will be that over-excited, hyperactive kid who does all forms of gymnastic flip that end up hurting them.

dangerous antics on trampoline

How to prevent falls and trampoline-related injuries? 

  1. Have an adult supervising

Whenever your toddler is rebounding on the trampoline, be sure to be there or have a responsible adult supervising and seeing that they do not do those crazy and hurtful stunts or that too many are using the trampoline at one time.

  1. Put safety nets and paddings
are trampolines safe for toddlers

To protect your little ones from hurting themselves while playing on the trampoline, you need to pad your rails. You also need to prevent falls onto the ground through the use of mats on the ground. Also have safety nets enclosing the trampoline so that your toddlers are not rebound outside the trampoline. Jay L. Hoecker, a pediatric M.D with Mayoclinic further advises that your trampoline should be on a ground level away from trees or any other hard substances.

  1. Limit the number of kids on the trampoline to one at a time.

Limit the number of kids on the trampoline to just one. You would rather be mean than sorry.

  1. Mark your trampoline as not for use by toddlers unless supervised

CPSC advises that for a trampoline higher than 20 inches above the ground, no toddler should be allowed unless they are supervised by an adult and there are net enclosures so that they do not fall off. They go ahead to state that ladders should not be sold alongside trampolines.

Frequently asked questions about trampolines for toddlers

Here below, we answer some of the frequently asked questions about trampolines and their safety when used by kids.

Are trampoline parks safe for toddlers?

Trampoline parks are the most unsafe for toddlers because there are too many kids using it at one time. The supervision by an adult is wanting. The trampoline park might be raised over 20 inches above the ground and also feature a ladder which makes it more unsafe. You would better opt for the indoor mini-trampoline where you will supervise your kid and have one toddler at a time.

Are mini trampolines safe for toddlers?

Mini trampolines are the safest bet you could have. You however need to have good padding on the metallic parts, a net mesh covering it. When your toddler is playing, supervise them so that they do not do risky antics or jump too high. we recommend the skybound mini trampoline for indoors. We have reviewed it here.

What is the mini trampoline age limit?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids below 6 years should not use a trampoline. We however advise that if you want toddlers below this age limit to use it that you have it well supervised, padded and with a safety net. The trampoline should also be on a ground level.

Are trampolines really that dangerous?

Trampolines could cause a wide range of injuries all the way from sprains, strains to more complex such as skull and spine fractures. According to CPSC, trampolines could cause death if the 11 deaths recorded from 1991-1999 are anything to go by.