Trampolines are great for kids, but are they safe for 2-year-olds? Read on to discover what experts have to say about this.
Two-year-olds are innately jumpy, even in the house.
Leave them on the couch, and they’ll most likely turn it into a bouncing castle.
To make them explore this adventure, parents buy them trampolines.
Sounds easy enough, but there’s a problem: trampolines can be hazardous and have caused severe injuries, especially among the little ones.
The question of whether trampolines are safe for 2-year-olds has been around for a long time.
While some claim that toddlers shouldn’t jump on trampolines, others argue that kids within this age bracket should use mini-trampolines.
Let’s find out whether it’s safe for a 2-year-old to use a trampoline.
What Do Statistics Say about Trampolines and Toddler Safety?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics research, approximately 100,000 trampoline-related injuries occur in one year and primarily affect kids.
Here are some of the takeaways from this study:
- More minor children are more likely to sustain trampoline injuries than bigger kids.
- Nearly 75% of trampoline injuries take place when many children are jumping at the same time.
- Falls play a significant part when it comes to trampoline injuries. Falls from trampoline leads to both head and cervical spine injuries, which can be catastrophic.
Why Are Trampolines Unsafe for 2-Year Olds?
The bones of children aged two years and below are still developing and, thus, not strong. Their bones are softer than those of kids aged six years and above.
What it means is this: the spongy nature of their bones makes them susceptible to compression.
So, if these kids land on their legs or hands while jumping on the trampoline, they can easily suffer a fracture.
We’re not through yet.
Not only are 2-year-olds lightweight, but they also have less coordination. That’s why they may not control their landing correctly.
What this means is if these kids fall from a trampoline, it extends their risk of injury from hand or leg fractures to head, spine, and neck injuries.
What’s the Recommended Age for Trampoline Use?
Upon realizing that trampolines cause many injuries to smaller kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Orthopedic Surgeons came up with a policy that highlights trampoline use among children. According to this policy, parents shouldn’t let kids below six years use trampolines.
And there’s something else.
The AAP also recommends that kids above six years should only jump on a trampoline when an adult is present to supervise them at all times. There should also be a safety net to prevent any falls.
More importantly, they recommend that only one kid jumps at a time, so they don’t collide with each other, causing injuries.
How to Make the Trampoline Safer for Kids
If you already own a trampoline and would like to keep using it for your kids aged at least six years, here are some guidelines to follow:
1. Supervise the Kids
Be sure to keep an eye on your child while they jump on the rebounder. That means you should place garden trampolines somewhere accessible to monitor the little ones even when you are in the house. But, we recommend you try to be near the trampoline when they are playing.
2. Install Safety Equipment
Put a safety enclosure net around the unit to prevent any falls that may cause injuries. On top of that, add foam padding on the hard edges and springs to prevent possible injuries when the kids bounce on the mat.
3. Inspect the Trampoline Regularly
It’s best to inspect the unit before each use. When observing it, keep an eye out for damaged parts, tear and wear, noises, etc.
Specifically, check the following parts for safety: the springs, the frame, and the jumping mat. Ensure that the springs and frame don’t signal any rust, the mat doesn’t exhibit a tear, and the hooks aren’t broken.
If, after inspection, you notice any damaged parts, don’t allow anyone to use the trampoline until a trampoline expert repairs it.
Are you using the trampoline in the backyard? Ensure it’s far from trees and other objects.
If you’re using it indoors, ensure there’s ample space around the unit with nothing above it, such as a ceiling fan or light fixture. Besides, remove any furniture that someone could knock or jump into.
Then again, if you placed the trampoline on the second or higher floor, keep it away from the doors or windows to avoid potential accidents of jumpers falling out.
5. Only One Person at a Time
When several kids jump on the trampoline at once, it increases the likelihood of collisions, resulting in sprains, head injuries, and broken bones.
When only one child is bouncing on the trampoline, there aren’t many hazards to worry you. The only risk is that the jumper might fall off the mat and injure themselves if it’s not installed correctly or in a dangerous location.
So, are trampolines safe for 2-year-olds? The short answer is no. The medical consensus is to avoid trampoline use for any child below six years.
As parents, safety should be our primary concern. Fun is secondary. If they are below six years old, keep them occupied with other simple outdoor activities.
Once they attain six years, introduce them to trampolines, but observe the safety measures highlighted above.