How to Choose a Good and Safe Trampoline for Backyard?

By Shannon Bussnick, LSW

Ah, the exhilaration of jumping up-and-down, feeling the cool air upon your face, and wondering to yourself: Is there anything better than this?

For many children, jumping on a trampoline is one of those activities that don’t ever seem to tire (even if little legs beg to differ!) and it’s easy to understand why.

There’s something quite magical, and freeing, about the entire trampoline experience.

And rest assured that when your child’s best friend or classmate gets a trampoline of their own, yours will waste no time asking for one, too!

Safety Tips

Although using a trampoline can be a great way to incorporate physical activity and free-play exercises, it’s important to note that trampolines can also cause injuries—especially when children are left unsupervised, or parents fail to enforce safety rules, when jumping about.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Trampoline jumping poses a high risk of injury for children. The activity can result in sprains and fractures in the arms or legs — as well as head and neck injuries” (2020).   

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that trampolines only be used for specific training programs such as gymnastics, diving, or other competitive sports—and that individuals are sufficiently supervised throughout the entire duration.

Paying mind to the recommendations above, it’s essential that parents and caregivers are educated about the potential risks of trampolines before giving their children permission to use one.

Children should also know how to safely partake in trampoline play (at home, at a friend’s house, or at the park) before any off-land bouncing begins.  

Considering buying a trampoline for your family? It’s important to read through the FAQ’s about trampoline safety and the many tips on how to go about choosing the right one for your family.

Let’s jump to it!

Trampoline FAQ’s

If you allow your child to use a trampoline, it’s best to follow the below safety rules and ensure all family members abide by the same guidelines when jumping about.

Here are many of the frequently asked questions when it comes to children and trampolines:

Q: How can I increase safety measures for trampoline use?

A:  Invest in sturdy safety nets and pads. Typically, injuries happen most frequently on trampolines at home. Adding a netted trampoline enclosure can prevent falls outside the trampolines’ barrier.

Also, you’ll want to invest in well-made pads for the trampoline frame and springs. There are also ladders available for purchase that can assist a child when going in and out of the trampoline.

Remember to check the equipment regularly for signs of wear and tear and remove any ladders when the trampoline is not in use and under the supervision of an adult.

Put a sign up in a visible area and continue to enforce that the trampoline is closed when an adult is not present.

Q: Where should I set up an at-home trampoline?

A: If you are planning to buy an outdoor trampoline, the trampoline should be assembled on a flat surface, at ground-level.

You’ll want to ensure that there are no trees or other hazards nearby the location.

Continue to monitor the location of the trampoline and act accordingly if the trampoline is no longer in a safe area.

Q: At what age can my child use a trampoline?

A: It’s advised that children under the age of six do not use a trampoline.

Q: How can I teach my child to use a trampoline safely?

A: If your child is going to be using a trampoline at home, or in another location, you’ll want to go over some rules and guidelines with them first.

Educate your child about the importance of safety equipment before they get on a trampoline and ensure they understand that the equipment is never to be tampered with.

For safety purposes and injury prevention, no more than one child should be on a trampoline at a time.

Children should avoid engaging in dangerous or risky moves while jumping and should only do so while under the supervision of an instructor or while attached to a harness for training/specialized purposes.

Q: Can trampoline use improve certain skills?

A: Yes. Trampolines can improve motor skills such as coordination and balance.

Jumping on a trampoline engages the entire body which makes for a great way to condition muscles and the cardiovascular system.

Still, since every child is unique, it’s always a good idea to talk to your child’s pediatrician about the risks and benefits when it comes to trampoline play.

Instructions for Choosing a Trampoline

After reading up on trampoline facts and safety information, you may be ready to choose a trampoline for your family.

So, where do you start?

Let’s take a look at some helpful instructions for choosing a trampoline:

Measure your yard to determine how much space you have

When considering a trampoline it’s important to know how much room you can spare. This means you’ll need to properly measure your yard width and depth in advance.

Trampolines come in various sizes so even with a smaller backyard you’ll be able to find one that works best for your family.

Decide which enclosure and padding equipment you prefer

When deciding on the best trampoline for your family, you’ll most likely lean towards a trampoline with more safety features.

While some enclosures attach to the mat of the trampoline, others will attach to the outside perimeter.

It may be helpful to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you arrive at the store or start scrolling your favorite website. 

Find out what’s included

When purchasing a large piece of equipment, you’ll find that some parts are included and others you’ll need to purchase separately. It’s a good idea to research standard prices of trampolines and safety equipment before committing to one model. 

Verify the weight limit

This one may sound obvious but can easily be forgotten during the midst of shopping. While it’s never recommended that multiple individuals be on a trampoline at one time, it’s vital to know the weight capacity in order to prevent equipment malfunctions and consequential injuries. 

Check if spare parts are available from the manufacturer

You found your perfect trampoline—your family loves it and so do you!

But never once did you consider that when one of the springs needed a touch of TLC, there wasn’t a replacement option.

And there you sit with an unusable trampoline.

Checking with the manufacturer in advance about spare parts can save you from a big headache and total upset down the line.

 Inquire about an insurance plan and the return policy

To piggyback off of the above, insurance plans are usually available from the manufacturer if your item is found to be defective and you need a replacement. The prices of insurance packages can vary but are usually worth it (even if only for peace of mind). 

Remember to note the return window of your chosen trampoline and make sure you are committed to keeping the equipment before the return window closes. 

Safe jumping!

Photo by Zurijeta


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