Should You Get Your Kids a Trampoline?

Trampolines have earned a bad reputation in recent years, and especially trampoline parks. Trampoline park owners have faced a barrage of litigation issues related to accidents and injuries that occur in these facilities.

Many people have also become less likely to have a home trampoline because of the fear of injuries, some of which can be severe.

However, there are benefits of trampolines as well, and kids happen to love them in many cases. If you’re weighing whether or not to get your kids a trampoline, the following are some of the things you should think about.

What Are the Risks of Trampolines?

In 2014, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics, there were nearly 105,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms related to the use of trampolines, primarily by children and teens.

Most of the injuries occurred from falling or jumping off the trampoline, two or more people being on a trampoline together and running into each other, or someone landing on the trampoline’s frame.

A person jumping and then landing wrong was also a cited reason for many of these accidents.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Trampoline?

Some of the benefits of your family having a trampoline include the fact that it can help your children stay active and fit. The bouncing motions on a trampoline can help strengthen the skeletal system and increase bone mass, and there is evidence that regularly using a trampoline can improve posture and the cardiovascular system.

The use of a trampoline can increase endorphins in the brain, which can help reduce anxiety and stress, and people who regularly bounce on a trampoline may have better sleep habits.

Trampolines can give your lymphatic system a boost and help promote drainage, and when kids regularly use a trampoline, they may have improved coordination and balance.

What Are the Downsides of a Trampoline?

Along with the risks themselves, there can be some other downsides of trampolines to consider before getting one. For example, if you get a trampoline, you may feel like you’re always supervising your own kids on it as well as friends they might have over.

Some homeowner’s insurance won’t allow you to own a trampoline under the policy either.

If your homeowner’s insurance prohibits you from having a trampoline and you get one anyway, your insurance company might issue a non-renewal notice or a cancellation.

How to Buy a Trampoline

If you decide that a trampoline is right for you after weighing the pros and cons, there are specific things you should look for.

First, make sure that you’re thinking about weight limits. You also absolutely need a trampoline with an enclosure, since this is an important way to reduce the risk of jumpers falling off. If you buy a trampoline for a child younger than five, it’s recommended that you choose a small one with handlebars.

If you’re going to put a trampoline in your yard, there needs to be enough space all the way around it. It needs to be placed on a soft surface like grass too.

Along with an enclosure, some of the safety features a trampoline should have are padding on the springs, rust-resistant springs, and a galvanized steel frame.

Trampoline Safety Tips

There are trampoline safety tips to keep in mind once you buy one if that’s the decision you make.

First, it’s really best if only one person is on the trampoline at a time. Everyone using the trampoline should stay toward the center, and you shouldn’t let your kids do gymnastics moves on the trampoline because there is a paralysis risk.

You shouldn’t let kids under the age of six use a full-size trampoline, and kids should always have adult supervision.

Your trampoline should be placed on a flat area of ground, and it should be anchored to the ground.

Finally, another option, if you get a trampoline, is to bury it.

You’ll have to excavate the area where you want to bury it. What you do need to realize is that burying a trampoline doesn’t inherently make it safe. You should still use an enclosure, and the trampoline has to be installed properly.

A trampoline doesn’t have to automatically be dangerous and your family could theoretically have one and enjoy the benefits, but you need to be responsible for how you choose a trampoline and make sure you install it correctly.

You should also never get lulled into a false sense of safety and stop supervising your kids when they’re on it, regardless of how long you have it.

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