Backyard trampolines are more popular than ever, and kids love them. However, both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons strongly discourage the use of home trampolines, especially for children younger than 6. Each year from 2010 to 2014, E.R. doctors treated more than 91,000 trampoline injuries, including head injuries, fractures, and sprains. In the worst-case scenarios, kids can end up paralyzed, brain damaged, or even killed. The younger and smaller a child is, the more likely he is to get hurt.
“Unfortunately, injuries happen for the same reasons trampolines are fun,” says Lori DeBold, M.D., vice chair of pediatrics at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, in Fountain Valley, California. “A child has some, but not total, control over how high she bounces and where she lands.” Nearly two-thirds of trampoline accidents are caused by children jumping at the same time and crashing into one another. If you believe that the benefits of a backyard trampoline outweigh the risks, follow these rules from the safety experts.