Now that the weather has gotten chillier, you may be looking for fun indoor activities to do with the kids. If you’re headed to an indoor trampoline park, know that while they do encourage physical activity, they can also be dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 100,000 children visited emergency rooms last year due to trampoline accidents, and there’s even a fracture that some doctors call “trampoline ankle.”
If you and your kids are heading to an indoor trampoline park for a birthday party or just for a day of fun, keep these tips in mind:
- Always have adult supervision. Children should only jump with a responsible adult around.
- One person at a time. Be aware of other jumpers.
- Discourage double-jumping. This is when one person lands just as another person is attempting to jump.
- No flips or somersaults. These can lead to head and neck injuries, wrist sprains or fractures, or other serious injuries.
- Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement.
- Don’t wear jewelry or other sharp objects while jumping. Empty your pockets and don’t wear a hat while jumping, either.
- Avoid peak hours. Go during less busy times so there are fewer people and fewer distractions.
- Stay in age-appropriate areas. This includes adults!
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that children under 6 should not jump on trampolines or visit indoor trampoline parks at all. Children’s bones are still growing, so jumping on a trampoline poses a high risk of injury, according to Dr. John Draus, a pediatrician at UK HealthCare and director of the UK Pediatric Trauma Program.
Most injuries take place because of collisions while jumping, incorrect landings or falling off a trampoline onto a hard surface. Always follow the safety guidelines set forth by the trampoline park.