WebMD BlogsWebMD Doctors

Safety first: Trampolines not recommended for kids

650x350_trampoline
Hansa Bhargava, MD - Blogs
By Hansa D. Bhargava, MDBoard-certified pediatricianJuly 25, 2017
From the WebMD Archives

Trampolines are fun. I loved them as a kid, and even an adult, I just want to get on one and jump. But as a pediatrician, I recognize very well that they are simply unsafe.

We recently heard about the 3-year-old who is in a body cast after he broke his thigh bone while jumping at a trampoline park. Unfortunately breaking bones on a trampoline is not uncommon. I’ve seen broken arms, fingers, ankles and even head injuries.

When 2 or more kids are on the trampoline, it changes its elasticity or “stretchiness.” If a child is landing, and the other one is in the air, the child that is airborne will not land on bouncy material anymore. The trampoline is stretched at that point, essentially creating a solid surface. Landing on a hard surface can cause broken bones. Kids’ bones break more easily than adults because they are more porous and have more vulnerable areas because they are growing.

As trampoline parks have gotten more popular, more injuries are happening. A study last year showed that injuries had literally multiplied from trampoline parks from 580 a year in 2010 to 7,000 in the year 2014. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 295,000 trampoline-related injuries in 2015. Of the injured, more than 90% were between the ages of 5 and 14.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a strict stand on trampolines: They say children should not be allowed on them. The American Association of Orthopedics agrees; they suggest that children under 6 should not be allowed on trampolines. Both organizations suggest that if kids do go on trampolines, they should use protective gear and not have more than one child on the trampoline at a time.

As a pediatrician and mom, I practice what I preach — my kids are rarely allowed to go on trampolines anymore. If you choose to allow your child to do this, follow these tips:

  • Only one child at a time on the trampoline
  • Use side nets to help prevent falls
  • No somersaults
  • Always have adult supervision

It’s not worth wearing a cast all summer or worse, having a head or spinal injury. Kids should have fun, but safety first.

WebMD Blog
© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
About the Author
Hansa D. Bhargava, MD

Hansa Bhargava, MD, is a medical editor and WebMD's expert pediatrician. She oversees the team of medical experts responsible for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of the pediatric content on the site.

More from the WebMD Doctors Blog

  • elderly patient and nurse

    Older Patients Deserve Age-Friendly Care

    “I’ve been on my gout medication since the 1990s. No one ever suggested I stop taking it, Doc.” Jerry was a new patient, in for a general ...

  • breast cancer surivors

    How the Breast Cancer Walk Changed Me

    In the early morning darkness, a downtown street usually filled with cars was a sea of pink. It was surreal. Hundreds of us, women of all ...

View all posts on WebMD Doctors

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More