How to Keep Your Family Safe on a Trampoline
Trampolines are a fun way for kids to burn off their extra energy and get some fresh air at the same time, but they can also be incredibly dangerous. In fact, over a 10-year period in the U.S., there were more than one million reported visits to emergency care facilities because of trampoline injuries. Most of the injured patients were children and most of the injuries were bone fractures, especially of the upper extremities. Spinal injuries and lower extremity injuries were also common. Because of the serious risks associated with trampoline use, the emergency care physicians at West Hills Hospital encourage families throughout our West Hills community to take precautions with this activity.
At regular intervals throughout the year, parents are advised to closely inspect the parts of the trampoline and to replace any that are worn or not working properly. Thick padding should completely cover the springs and frame. Protective padding is also required on the supporting bars, strings, and the landing surfaces all around the trampoline. It is commonly thought that safety net enclosures can help keep kids safer while using trampolines, but actually, many experts feel that these devices may do more harm than good because they can provide a false sense of security. Emergency care is most often required for trampoline injuries that occur on the surface of the device.
Children should be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. Athletes who are training on trampolines should also be supervised. If athletes are attempting jumps or other stunts, spotters should be on hand. High-risk maneuvers require additional safety equipment such as harnesses.
It is not recommended that children under six years of age use trampolines, even with supervision. Parents should strictly enforce rules regarding trampoline usage, which should include a prohibition on more than one child jumping at a time. Children should not attempt stunts like flips and somersaults.
If a family member does sustain an injury from a trampoline this summer, the emergency care physicians at West Hills Hospital are always available to help. Call 911 if you or a loved one requires rapid transportation to the emergency care department. Otherwise, non-emergent inquiries may be directed to a registered nurse at our hospital in West Hills by calling (818) 676-4321.