How old is old enough to play on a trampoline? According to the American College of Orthopaedic Surgeons, it’s best to wait until a child is six years old before allowing them to use a trampoline. Of course, if your child is involved in gymnastics, they’ve probably already used a trampoline before — but this is mostly about solo play. It’s also important to keep an eye on your children while they get used to a trampoline. Here are some guidelines to set forth for backyard trampoline play.
- Review the rules of trampoline play with your children. Make sure your child and their friends know what’s okay on the trampoline and what isn’t. (For example, you might not want them doing somersaults.) Keep an eye out to make sure your safety rules are being obeyed.
- Allow only one child at a time on the trampoline, or have children (and adults) engage in organized game activities such as basketball that are structured. This will minimize horseplay – and the risk of injury. Organize a great game of basketball, or any number of other family friendly games.
- Remove trampoline ladders after use to prevent young children from being able to play unsupervised.
- Check the trampoline regularly to make sure everything is in top shape. If it’s not, don’t use it. Keep in mind, a well-made trampoline will provide many years of fun, so purchase one with superior quality and longevity in mind.
While these guidelines primarily apply to those of you lucky enough to have a backyard suitable for a trampoline, it’s also a good idea to use similar guidelines at the trampoline park with younger children. If the trampoline park has a kids section, consider having your child bounce there for their first few times, instead of the general area. Inexperienced bouncers and expert bouncers don’t always mix.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to look after your child. You may not want to bounce with them, but you can still monitor them on the side. If something happens and they get hurt, wouldn’t you want to be right there with them? Even with every safety precaution and a well-trained staff, it’s still important to make sure you know what your child is doing and that they’re jumping safely.
Trampolines and trampoline parks can provide endless entertainment for a day, and create good habits for years to come, but it’s so important to make sure children get off on the right foot when it comes to jumping. It should be something to be enjoyed and looked forward to, not avoided.