Last updated: June 19, 2023
A guide with 15 trampoline rules focused on safety so that you and your kids can use the trampoline with minimal risk of injuries.
If you’re considering getting a trampoline in the backyard, safety should be one of your top concerns.
Before letting your kids jump on any trampoline, it’s important to review safety rules to prevent accidents. Even as a seasoned trampoline owner, occasionally revisiting those trampoline safety rules is a good idea.
Trampolines can indeed lead to injuries, according to statistics. For example, this report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 2014 there were 104,691 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with trampoline.
With that in mind, here are 15 essential trampoline safety rules you should discuss with your kids and anyone else who will use the trampoline.
1. One Person at a Time
Depending on the size of the trampoline you have, it’s best to enforce a “one at a time” rule on your trampoline.
With multiple people bouncing around at once, there is an increased chance of accidental collisions and injuries.
2. No Stunts or Flips
For many kids, the trampoline seems like an ideal place to practice the latest stunts and tricks. However, even with its bouncy surface, landing wrong can cause serious injuries.
You could consider having a rule in place against flips, rolls, and other stunts on your trampoline, especially for young trampoline users.
3. Don’t Jump Too High
It’s easy for kids to get overly enthusiastic while bouncing around on a trampoline. If left unsupervised, an excited child may end up losing control of their jumping.
They could land wrong, hit springs, or even launch themselves off the trampoline pad if there is no safety net. If you see kids starting to bounce too high, tell them to take it easy.
4. No Toys or Equipment
Toys on the trampoline can be a recipe for disaster. They can turn into actual projectiles when someone is bouncing. A misplaced toy can also cause someone to land wrong after a jump, leading to injuries.
You should always keep the trampoline clear of loose objects to keep everybody safe while jumping.
5. Keep Surroundings Clear
Just like the trampoline itself should be free of any mess, it’s also recommended to clear the surrounding area.
There should be no lawn or landscaping equipment that could potentially injure a child should they fall off the trampoline. You should also keep other children and pets outside the trampoline area when someone is jumping.
Read my guide to the best trampoline surface for more tips about the placement of the trampoline in the backyard.
6. Practice the Basics
Before giving kids free rein on your trampoline, you should make sure that they know how to jump safely.
Give a quick demonstration on how to land on both feet and how to perform an emergency landing if they lose control.
A quick recap of important trampoline safety rules every now and then isn’t a bad idea either, as they often get forgotten.
7. No Pets
While it can be tempting to allow the family dog up on the trampoline for some fun, pets should remain with all four paws on solid ground.
Cats and dogs can end up scratching your trampoline mat, making rips and tears more likely to appear. Moreover, they can make just as dangerous a projectile as a person.
8. Always Use the Ladder
Most trampolines come with a ladder, and for good reason. Jumping on and off a trampoline onto the ground is hard on the knees and ankles, increasing the risk of serious injury.
Kids should always carefully climb on and off the trampoline using a securely attached ladder. For small children, it might be best for them to sit and scoot down onto the ladder so that they don’t lose their balance.
9. Set Up a Safety Net
While not all trampolines come with a safety net, it’s an essential piece of equipment that can prevent accidents and injuries later on.
You can find plenty of safety net options to fit a range of different trampoline sizes and shapes. Just make sure that you find something that’s durable, weatherproof, and offers a secure fit.
10. Don’t Wear Any Accessories
If a child is wearing a hat, sunglasses, or jewelry, they should remove those accessories before getting onto the trampoline.
Accessories can pose a danger when jumping, especially those that have sharp edges. Trampoline users should remove all loose items and ensure they have nothing in their pockets that could fall out.
Just make sure that everyone remembers their belongings at the end of the session!
11. Jump Towards the Center
Before getting on the trampoline, you should always explain to children that it’s best to aim for the center of the mat when jumping.
By staying in the center, they reduce the risk of falling over the edge or hitting the side netting. Keeping towards the center also keeps small feet away from steel springs and frameworks.
12. No Shoes
Kids should always remove their shoes before getting up onto a trampoline. Wearing shoes makes it more difficult to land safely, and it also increases the risk of tripping over laces.
It’s better to jump barefoot than with shoes on. The safest option, however, is for kids to wear special trampoline socks with plenty of traction for bouncing.
13. No Children Under Six
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, kids under six should not be allowed to use a trampoline.
Small children often lack the strength or coordination skills needed to bounce safely and are at a higher risk of injury.
14. Supervise Children at All Times
If you have young children jumping on the backyard trampoline, you should always be out there watching them.
This will allow you to react more quickly should something go wrong, and you can remind kids to stick to the rules. If, for whatever reason, you must leave, find someone else to supervise while you are away.
15. Perform Regular Safety Checks
Each time you use your trampoline (or weekly), you should give it a quick safety check to ensure everything is in working order.
Look to see that the springs are securely attached, the frame is even, and that the mat shows no signs of any concerning wear and tear.
If you do see minor holes starting to appear, check out our guide to fixing trampoline mat holes and see if you can resolve the problem yourself.
How to clean a trampoline mat properly.
How to keep a trampoline from blowing away.