Are Trampolines Safe?

Consumer reports say “jump at your own risk!” 1

The American Association of Pediatricians (AAP) is against using it at home. 2

This report shows that trampolining is 9th on the list of recreational sports with a high injury rate. These injuries range from a sprain to a broken bone. 3

Yet despite these warnings, trampolines are still one of the most popular garden toys.

In the US alone, hundreds of thousands of families buy trampolines every year.

In the UK, it has surpassed the sales of inflatable bouncy castles and sand pits combined.

If you look at a neighborhood in Norway, you’ll see that almost every house has one in their backyard.

With the rise of trampoline parks all over the world,  trampolining is only surging in popularity.

But what exactly are the dangers of a backyard trampoline and how can you lessen injuries if you have one at home?

Are Trampolines Safe?

Let’s start with the first question, “Are trampolines safe?”

No, they’re not!

They pose risks and dangers that every parent needs to be aware of.

But on the other part of that argument is the fact that a lot of childhood activities come with risks. Playing in the playground, cycling, football, swimming, etc. carry the possibility of an injury when things don’t go well.

It just is a fact of life.

But saying this, you must also remember that like many things, the product design is very important.

Let me repeat that,

The product design is very important.

You won’t buy a car that you know has safety issues.

Neither should you buy a trampoline that doesn’t stick to the highest safety and quality standards.

What Quality Standards To Look For

  1. ASTM
  2. TUV-SUD

The TUV-SUD is a symbol to show that neutral safety experts have examined the product and its manufacturing center. And that they have not found in safety issues.

It tells you that it meets the German Equipment and product safety act. This is also gives you the assurance that you are buying a genuine product.

The ASTM is also known as the American Society of Testing and Materials.

It stipulates some regulations for trampoline manufacturers. These set standards guide them to make tramps
that reduce the occurrence of injuries and lessen the hazards that trampolines are associated with.

What Are The Safest Trampolines And  Which Trampoline Brands Are the Best?

Ideally, buy a backyard trampoline that passes ASTM standards and has TUV-SUD certification.

However, also remember that many trampolines used in the US will only have the ASTM mark. The TUV-SUD, on the other hand, is required for products sold in the European Union (along with ASTM).

For now, these requirements are our best criteria to make a list of the best trampoline brands.

For this list of the safest trampolines, we feature brands that pass ASTM standards. Some of them also have an added TUV-SUD certification.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it’s a good starting point to help you find a trampoline for your family.

Zupapa Trampolines:

TUV-SUD certification, ASTM

Zupapa is a highly-rated product on Amazon. Many positive reviews comment on how sturdy it is compared to other trampolines they have bought in the past.

For your child’s safety, it has a thick frame padding that covers the mat. This padding is 20 mm thick and covers the spring and the steel frame where the mat is attached. This helps protect your child if he/she falls into the spring. This thick foam ensures that nothing gets stuck, pinched or broken (fingers crossed! 😉

And have you heard of those stories where a trampoline got blown away with a child inside it? Well, Zupapa has thought about this, too!

Their trampolines come with a stake that anchors the frame to the ground. (This is a great idea to prevent the structure from moving around when the kids jump on it. I wouldn’t trust it during very strong winds though. If there are strong winds, no child should be jumping on the trampoline.)

This is one of the few trampolines that has a 10-year warranty.

In fact, many reviews like this one praises how good the customer service is. They also comment on how quickly they respond when replacing broken items.

This 10-year warranty is definitely one to consider when buying a trampoline. At some point in a trampoline’s lifetime, you may need to change some of the parts to keep it as safe. And when this time comes, you want to deal with a company that has a no-fuss policy on providing, selling or replacing parts.

One common problem with the Zupapa, however, is that the instruction manual is not written well. As this reviewer says, it could do with a bit of editing.

Songmics Trampolines

TUV-GS certification, ASTM

Here’s another trampoline with a 375 lb weight limit.

For safety, it has w shaped legs for stability. The cover pad is wide enough to cover the springs and frame. The pad also has an overhang to make sure it stays in place.

Apart from safety, Songmics has also thought about added fun with this trampoline. In effect, they have made bigger and longer springs so that it’s bouncier than other trampolines.

Also, if you buy the one with an interior safety net, it comes with a basketball hoop.

The main problem with this trampoline is that it only has a 2-year warranty. This is common with a lot of trampoline brands, but it is easily trumped by Zupapa’s 10-year one.

Video: Look how easy the assembly and installation is of this trampoline. Also, watch the video to see what it looks like!

 

Vuly Trampolines Thunder

ASTM and Australian Standard

You may not have heard of the brand. That’s because Vuly trampolines is an Australian company.  But you can buy the trampolines in the US, Canada and in many countries in the European Union.

Vuly has a design that you’ve probably never seen before.

For safety, it doesn’t have the traditional type of spring. Instead, it uses leaf springs. These make for a different looking design.  It’s also one of the reasons that make this a safe trampoline.

Why? These leaf springs are an important part of the safety design of Vuly thunder.

No longer do you have to worry about little fingers getting stuck in the springs, like in the traditional design.

Apart from these, the leaf springs also allows for an upright bounce that protects your child’s knees from twisting or straining.

So what are the cons of this trampoline?

Well, for one, it costs a lot more than the other trampolines on this list. Secondly, because of its leaf springs, it takes a longer time to assemble.

More Trampolines with Safety in Mind (ASTM certified)

  • ExacMe
  • Kangaroo Hoppers
  • Skywalker trampolines (ASTM)
  • Skybound (ASTM)
  • Kidwise (ASTM)

The Second Part Of The Equation in Making Trampolines Safe

You start by buying a trampoline that follows all the safety regulations that Consumer safety organizations have put into place.

This is very important.

But even a “safe” trampoline means nothing if your children (or adults in the household) do not follow safe jumping rules.

 It cannot be overemphasized that YOU, the consumer, also plays an important role in making sure that trampolines are safe for you and your kids. 

 

So let’s assume that you buy the safest trampoline.

You’ve also installed it in the correct way as stated in the manufacturer’s installation manual.

These two things are very important.

But to make your family’s safety a priority, there’s another equally important part of this equation.

The people playing on the trampoline must strictly follow safety rules and regulations

So without further ado, here are trampoline safety standards every jumper must follow.

If you want your kids to be safe, these rules are non-negotiable.

Trampoline Rules And Regulations

For Kids

  1. Only one person should jump on the trampoline at a time.
  2. No somersaults, backflips or front flips.
    I know. Who are we kidding right? Isn’t this the goal that kids live for whenever they go into a trampoline? The one thing they all strive to do and perfect? But sorry to break the bad news, it can potentially injure them and send them to the ER.
  3. Children younger than 6 should not be allowed on a backyard trampoline.
  4. Remove shoes and jewelery when using the trampoline.
  5. Pets are not allowed

For Adults

  1. Adult supervision.
    Your main job is to make sure the children are following the rules. Why? Because it is when jumpers don’t follow the rules that most trampoline injuries happen.
  2. Install the trampoline correctly
    1. Follow manufacturers instructions to a T
    2. If your trampoline does not have safety pads, buy them to cover the steel frame. This helps protect your kids in case they fall and hit the frames.
    3. Assemble the trampoline on a flat soft surface.
    4. Something to remember when installing a trampoline
      1. This isn’t one of those backyard toys installation that you can play by ear.
        It’s very important to follow the directions step by step to make it as safe as possible. Many trampoline instruction manuals add extra installation information that helps with safety and durability. Often, this is information that you would otherwise not be aware of especially if this is the first time you install this type/brand of a trampoline.
  3. Always check the parts regularly. Like many toys (more so with outdoor backyard toys), parts degrade. If you see any signs of degradation like a tear in the mat, a bend in the frame or an unhooked spring, don’t allow the kids to use the trampoline. Change them or don’t use the trampoline at all.

Trampoline Safety Video: How To Stay Safe On a Trampoline

Safe Trampoline Alternatives

Spring-free Trampolines

As of time of writing, there’s only one company that is spring free. This is trampoline design re-engineered. Instead of springs, this uses flexible rods that are located underneath the jumping mat so that it is out of harms way. You can check it here.

Ground level Trampolines

The American Academy of Orthopaedic surgeons says that a way to minimize injuries is to place the trampoline jumping surface at ground level.

This isn’t always feasible or easy with most trampolines. However, there are now companies that have trampolines that you can assemble at ground level. Here’s a popular and highly rated one.

Why Are Trampolines Dangerous?  And How Many Accidents Are Caused By Trampolines

There isn’t a yearly record (that I can find) of the number of accidents caused by trampolines. What is easy to find are the numbers on the US injury data for consumer trampolines

Here are some of the things worth noting from this data that can give you an idea on why trampolines are dangerous.

  • When a child lands on the mat in the wrong way. This could result in sprains and strains as well as fractures and broken bones typically the wrists, ankles, elbows and fingers.  It can also lead to a concussion. This is 42% of trampoline accidents.
  • When a child collides with another jumper. When this happens, the smaller of the two usually gets injured more. 10% of trampoline injuries
  • When a child gets stuck to the spring or hits the frame after a jump. This is about 17% of trampoline injuries
  • When a child falls on to the ground.  This is over 27% of trampoline injuries. This results in head injuries, fractures, contusions, sprains and lacerations.

As you can see, a high percentage of injuries is caused by the child. That is, he or she may land in the wrong way, or he jumps too high and positions himself in a bad position.

This is why trampolining is even more of a danger for very young kids. They don’t have the dexterity, balance, nor the frame of mind to properly move and jump in a trampoline.. Sigh..

References:

  1. Jump At Your Own Risk: Trampoline Safety Measures Not So Safe.” Consumerreports.org. N. p., 2018. Web. 11 June 2018.

  2. AAP Advises Against Recreational Trampoline Use Aap.org. N. p., 2018. Web. 11 June 2018.

  3. Trampoline use in homes and playground        Paediatrics & Child Health12.6 (2007): 501. Web. 11 June 2018.