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Are Trampolines Always Dangerous?

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Guest blogger Julie W: When a friend's daughter suffers a broken ankle on a trampoline, I thought, do I take my kids off for good?


Last week, my friend's 9-year-old daughter got severely injured on a trampoline. A much larger boy accidentally fell on her, and all the kids immediately knew she was badly hurt. Her foot was so broken, it was flopped over in what her parents describe as an S shape. 

I have been too squeamish to look at the photo they took of it.

Emergency room doctors say they see many trampoline-related injuries. But should moms keep our kids away from the bouncy fun?

Friend of momlogic and pediatrician Dr. Gwenn gives us her take on the dangers of backyard trampolines: 

"It never fails. In fact, not only can I count on this, so can you: 2 kids + 1 back yard trampoline = injury.

"The injury can be mild to major and can involved one or both kids but it WILL happen and often includes sprains, contusions, lacerations, head traumas, spinal traumas, dislocations, bumps, bruises and concussions. Safety nets don't prevent these from happening; they just prevent your kids from getting injured on the ground.

"You may think that most sound parents, including ourselves, would be swayed by the reams of data that support the dangers of trampolines and keep their kids off. But, more times than not, I hear parents say, 'What can I do? She (or he) just loves it so much!' This is usually mentioned to me during an evaluation for an injury, by the way. Now do you see why I'm worried?

"Bouncing is fun but it is impossible to bounce in total control. Three rules come into play that I can always count on. These rules, while based in science, are my own creation and come from years of treating kids with similar injuries from bouncing substrates:

Whoever goes up, must come down.

The bigger you are, the harder you fall.

If there is something that can cause hidden harm, it will.

"Part of the issue with backyard trampolines is that the actual rules are hardly ever followed. Here's a link to typical rules for backyard trampolines."

After seeing what happened to our little friend, I am tempted to tell my kids they are never allowed to play on trampolines. I can't see how the fun is worth the risk.

As a mom, are you tempted to bend the rules?

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22 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jami August 7, 2008, 11:06 AM

Thank you for this article. I have 3 children under the age of 5. They are all very active, and my mother-in-law has been asking me if I am going to get them a trampoline. I keep telling her that I will never get a trampoline because they are to dangerous. She does not like that answer and I am sure that she will keep hounding me the older they get, but I am going to stick to my convictions. My mother-in-law and I get along very well, but we do disagree on some things. It is good that we get along because she lives down the street from me.

birdsfly August 7, 2008, 11:16 AM

I would never get one of those big trampolines. When I was a kid we had one of those small personal trampolines that you have to take turns on. We weren’t far off the ground, we didn’t need a safety net, we never crashed into each other and we had a ton of fun. If they need a trampoline get one big enough for one person and use it to teach taking turns. (Note: also fun with a sprinkler set nearby!)

golfer August 7, 2008, 3:35 PM

I totally understand all the concern about trampolines as I was hurt when I was a kid but this year we bought a Springfree Trampoline and wow what a difference. By itself it provides me with a huge sense of relief but I have not reduced the rules especially one at a time.

Katie August 7, 2008, 10:29 PM

I definitely agree that the # 1 rule that needs to be followed is the one at a time rule. Unfortunately it is probably the first rule to be broken.

When I was in high school, I was on a friend’s trampoline, along with probably 3 or 4 other people, all goofing off and bouncing down to sit and then bouncing onto our feet again. But I didn’t get back to my feet. I ended up being double-bounced on my rear and then ended up on my back. The next thing I remember, I was in my friend’s house on the couch. All I know is I was winded so badly from landing on my back that I basically blacked out.

My daughter will NOT be getting a trampoline, and any friends who have one, the parents will be getting a phone call from me. If she wants to play on it, it had better be supervised and one kid at a time.

Tramp parent August 8, 2008, 9:39 AM

Two of my children got into trampolining but as a competitive sport, one made it to the World Age Groups Championships in Quebec last year. They used to beg me for a backyard trampoline but I was steadfast in refusing.
They could bounce in the gym under the close supervision of their coach but I wasn’t going to take the risk of them trying out their moves on hard ground with an underpowered trampoline.
If your kids really want to trampoline, check out your local club if there is ione. It will be a lot safer and they will develop into real athletes which will teach them discipline while still having fuin.

Alicia August 8, 2008, 11:29 PM

The last time I was on a trampoline I fell sprained my neck and seperated my ribs and sturnum.. i couldn’t breath good and I had to miss school.. I will not let my kids on a trampoline.

sara December 8, 2008, 6:59 PM

well i have a trampoline and matter of fact 1 year ago i was doin dome flips and bam i landed straight on my ankle whick gave me a shifted growlth plate a broken fibila and tibia and i had a cast up 2 my theigh for 8 weeks after my horribal surgary
my advice dont get one

Araaia March 30, 2009, 8:14 PM

My daughter sprained her ancle cuz 2 older kids fell on it. I think she should not get a trampoline but she will never agree with me. I dont know what to do to convince her that trampolines are EXTREMLY dangerous. What shoud i do?

Ann May 10, 2009, 10:06 AM

I’m the ‘mean mom.’ I won’t get the trampoline, even though I’d love one, too.

There’s a good reason that pediatricians and personal injury lawyers don’t allow their kids to have trampolines. The injuries are far too common.

unsecured loans June 30, 2009, 8:58 PM

I found very informative. The article is professionally written and I feel like the author knows the subject very well. keep it that way.

Trampolines January 4, 2010, 8:13 AM


I just wanted to say that generally trampoline-related injuries occur as a result of people buying trampolines because they’re cheap, completely disregarding quality and safety.



chels, January 31, 2010, 9:24 AM

Hi, I actually came across this link while searching “how to convince your parents to keep your trampoline” I actually want to show you the KIDS point of view! I’m a 13 year old girl, and my mom finally let me get a trampoline, my brother does a frontflip and BAM, breaks his leg. Now my parents want to get rid of my trampoline, and forbid me from ever jumping on one again. I actually have grown to LOVE trampolineing, and I’m very good on it and can do many flips and handsprings and what not. And now that it is going to be taken away, it really hurts, its like telling a soccer player that they can never play soccer again, or telling a figure skater that she can never skate again. If accidents are going to happen, they will, one way or another. You can’t protect your kids from everything in life, and if you’re kids are old enough to make a reasonable decision that they want to take the risk, then you should let them, because i know that having something taken away from you that you love this much really HURTS.

brianna  April 23, 2010, 5:05 PM

i really want a trampoline because i think that they are a great way to exercise and still have fun but my mom and dad dont want to get one (and i even offered to buy it… if i got worked this summer and saved up) because they think its danggerous… what a bout a small one do you think they are dangerous. i mean it would only be me and maybe my sis if she decided to go outside.. but shes in 9th and im only in 7th… if you have any comments or anysuggestions please email me back at

sara June 3, 2010, 5:06 PM

when i was younger i owned a trampoline for 6 years, from when i was 6 to 12. that entire time i did front flips, backflips, things i made up, twisting flips and when i was older some double front flips. we would sometimes have up to 4 people on the trampoline at a time (not while flipping of course), but in the entire 6 years we NEVER had even a MINOR injory. i was only ever trained how to do basic front and back flips, the rest i learned on my own. so to me, trampolines are not dangerous in the least bit. they are actually VERY safe, because they break falls very well. i never did have a net, but they will only increase the safety of a trampoline. in conclusion, a well put together trampoline can be very fun, and very safe. if you are worried, just use common sense when watching your children, and know their limits.

ps, trampolines are also fantastic exercise and are a great way for kids to get their energy out

Nailah August 31, 2010, 1:34 PM

I’m 16 years old, and I’ve been doing gymnastics for 10 years now. I got my trampoline when I was 13. I think children who do gymnastics, dance, or figureskating shouldn’t be refused a trampoline only because of safety. If there are other factors, like the isn’t big enough, then OK. But if safety is the only issue, I think its OK if the kid is ‘experienced.’ However, I do not think a trampoline should be bought if the kid has never had any experience or coaching with that type of thing. That’s what I think; but it’s up to you.

xoxo Nailah

Carroll B. Merriman November 23, 2010, 1:59 AM

I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

emma December 4, 2010, 5:03 PM

I’m 16 and I’ve been using my trampoline for 9 years now and the only injuries I’ve ever had was minor scratches and maybe a bruise or two. If you use common sense and don’t let more than 1 person on at a time there shouldn’t be a problem. I use my trampoline competitively now, it’s a great form of exercise.

Denver Tewksbury December 14, 2010, 2:49 AM

It is complicated and very broad for me. I can’t be waiting for your next article, I will try to get the hang of it!

Jacques Konye December 15, 2010, 11:02 PM

Stopped by to say hey, I can’t believe How a nice siteyou have got.

Tuyet Poer December 21, 2010, 10:31 AM

There are certainly a lot of points like that to take into consideration.

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