Trampolines can be dangerous. In 2006, the Consumer Product Safety Review reported that trampolines caused almost 110,000 injuries, with the majority of those injuries being suffered by children five to fourteen years old, with almost five thousand resulted in hospitalization. There have been six trampoline-related deaths as of 1990. Fortunately there are ways to keep injuries from happening. Here’s a recent report from the AAOS on the subject.
Making sure that there is only one person the trampoline at a time is paramount. Collisions between people is the greatest source of accidents, especially as each person’s trajectory is not easily predictable. Allowing for roughhousing and the encouragement of posting videos of collisions online, discouraging children from multiple people jumping around at the same time will not be easy, but it is necessary to avoid accidents.
Putting an enclosure around the trampoline is also advised. Another source of injuries is missing the trampoline. Although accidents do happen, it is best to have some sort of safeguard against the possibility of a child accidentally jumping off of the trampoline and unto a hard surface; an enclosure around the trampoline will help avoid this from happening. Of course this also means that children, especially older one, must be discouraged from purposely jumping on it and sliding down it, which can be a further source of injury.
Also make sure that there is nothing in the vicinity that may be used to jump onto the trampoline. An obvious example is a ladder or a shed. Although it may be tempting to put a ladder up so that younger children can get on the trampoline themselves, not allowing them easy access may actually be a good thing.
It always pays to make sure that your insurance is paid up, and that your insurance will pay for trampoline accidents. It also helps to make sure that you are allowed to have one in the first place; some homeowner associations do not allow them, and that renters may not be able to have one, despite any precautions that may have been taken. In this regard it pays to make sure that you can set it up before you even really consider buying one. However, as long as you have made certain as well as you can that your children are protected from injury, the trampoline can be a great toy.