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Last updated: June 16, 2021
If you’re thinking about getting a trampoline for your backyard, one of your top concerns should be safety.
Before letting your kids jump on any trampoline, it’s important to go over safety rules to prevent potential accidents. Even as a seasoned trampoline owner, it’s always a good idea to be up-to-date on the top trampoline safety rules.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone from purchasing a backyard trampoline, but it’s important to understand that trampolines can lead to injuries, according to statistics. For example, this report claims that between 2002 and 2011, trampoline accidents sent more than a million kids to the ER for serious injuries.
With that in mind, here are 15 essential trampoline safety rules you should discuss with your kids and anyone else who is going to 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
To 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 still cause serious injuries. It’s recommended to have a rule in place against flips, rolls, and other stunts on your trampoline.
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 real 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, you should also clear the surrounding area. There should be no lawn equipment or landscaping that could injure a child should they fall off the trampoline. You should also keep other children and pets clear of the area when someone is jumping.
Read my guide to the best trampoline surface for more tips around placement of the trampoline in the backyard.
6. Practice the Basics
Before giving kids free rein of 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. And a quick recap of important trampoline safety rules every now and then isn’t a bad either.
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. What’s more, 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 solid ground is hard on the knees and ankles, and it increases the risk of serious injury. Kids should always carefully climb on and off the trampoline using a securely attached ladder. For small children, it’s best to teach 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 important 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, sun glasses, 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. Jumpers should remove all loose items and make sure they have nothing in their pockets that could fall out. Just remember to make sure that everyone remembers their belongings at the end of the session!
11. Jump Towards the Center
You should always explain to children, before getting on the trampoline, 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 don’t have the strength nor the 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 be out there watching them at all times. This will allow you to react more quickly should something go wrong, and you can remind kids to stick to the rules. If you have to leave for whatever reason, find someone else to supervise while you are away.
15. Perform Regular Safety Checks
Each time you use your trampoline, or otherwise on a weekly basis, you should give it a quick safety check to make sure 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 wear.
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.