There is no such thing as a safe home trampoline, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP instructs its physicians to advise parents against the purchase of a home trampoline, and warns children against the use of any home trampoline due to risk of injury. Still, the organization knows kids will be kids, and some parents won't heed the warning. So, it and the Consumer Product Safety Commission offer some tips on how to be as safe as possible.
Avoid Home Trampolines
The AAP reports that in the United States, most trampoline-related injuries occur on home trampolines. If your kids want to bounce, limit their trampoline use to supervised training programs. Even when trampolines are used in gymnastics or other supervised sports programs, it's important for the facility to adhere to the rest of the AAP's recommendations for trampoline safety.
If you're looking for the safest trampoline, make sure you find one that has an enclosure. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that enclosures can help prevent the injuries that can occur when children fall from a trampoline. Enclosures are typically made of net material, and surround the trampoline to prevent landing on the hard ground.
The AAP recommends looking for a trampoline with safety pads covering all portions of the steel frame and the springs. To keep the trampoline as safe as possible, put an impact-absorbing safety material around the trampoline, and don't use any ladders to prevent unintended access by young children.
Consider putting the trampoline in a pit to keep the surface at ground level, and look for safety harnesses and spotting belts. Be careful where you place it in the yard. The CPSC advises keeping trampolines away from structures, trees and other play areas, and placing it on a level area.
No trampoline is safe if the people using it are engaged in risky behavior. To get maximum safety from a trampoline, the CPSC states you should allow only one person to use it at a time. Don't allow somersaults, as they may result in head and neck injuries. Never let anyone use the trampoline unsupervised, and don't allow users to attempt stunts beyond their training or ability. To keep a trampoline safer, the AAP recommends regular inspection for rust, tears and detachments.