Garden Trampoline Safety Advice
This page contains advice for home and garden trampolines only. Click here to visit the commercial trampoline parks page.
Trampolining is both a popular grass-roots activity and an elite, Olympic-level sport. At the grass-roots level, garden trampolines provide a relatively inexpensive source of enjoyment as well as aerobic activity for thousands of young children. As children grow, they can develop their gymnastic prowess thanks to the resources available in local school trampoline clubs, leisure centres and parks.
Children of all ages love the feeling of flying through the air and mastering skills ranging from basic jumps and landing safely to advanced acrobatics including complicated somersaults. The downside is that hospital Emergency Departments (A&E) are now having to deal with significant numbers of trampolining injuries.
Key safety points
- Trampolining isn’t suitable for children under the age of six because they’re not sufficiently physically developed to control their bouncing.
- Trampolining injuries can occur to all parts of the body, including the neck, arms, legs face and head. Head and neck injuries are the most serious injuries associated with trampolines. The most common injuries are caused by awkward landings and include sprains or fractures to the wrist, forearm, elbow and collarbone.
- Adult supervision is no guarantee of safety. More than half of all trampoline accidents occur whilst under supervision. However a trained ‘spotter’ can greatly reduce this risk.
- Never combine alcohol with trampolining! Children have been hurt while bouncing with adults who have been drinking at summer garden parties.
- Whatever your ability level, join a local trampolining club to learn new trampolining skills, ranging from the basics of landing safely to advanced moves such as somersaults.
If you would like to find out more detail then read our briefing note.
Advice for parents
There are bound to be the odd bumps and sprains. Our advice has been developed in conjunction with manufacturers, doctors and families, with the aim to help you enjoy your trampolining while avoiding severe and life-changing injures.
Before you buy
- Choose a model with safety pads, and check that the pads cover the springs, hooks and frame. The colour of the pads should contrast with the frame.
- Consider models with safety netting as part of the design, or buy this at the same time. The safety netting should prevent the bouncers from hitting rigid component like springs or the frame. They should also prevent bouncing off the trampoline.
- New trampolines should meet the European Standard EN71-14:2014 ‘Safety of toys – Trampolines for domestic use’.
Where to put it
- Ideally, place the trampoline on energy absorbing ground, such as a soft and springy lawn, or bark wood chip, sand or other cushioning material.
- If you do not have a net, look to have a safe zone of 2.5metres, clear of toys etc on the ground and objects such as trees, washing lines, poles, glass frames and other hard items. Never place the trampoline on hard surfaces such as concrete, tarmac or hard packed mud without absorbent safety matting.
Checking and keeping it safe
- Ensure trampolines are tied down before use.
- Be sure to check the padding and nets are in place and that the spring and fixed-metal parts are covered.
- On windy days and during the winter, it can be best to pack down the trampoline.
- Some trampolines have ladders. Where possible remove them to limit unsupervised access by smaller children, when the trampoline is not in use.
Rules for use
- Take turns, one at a time! 60% of injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline. The person weighing less is five times more likely to be injured.
- Don’t allow somersault or risky complicated moves – unless trained and highly skilled.
- Never allow a bouncing exit.
- Trampolines are not suitable for children under six years of age. All children should be supervised when on the trampoline.
Resources and other useful information
- RoSPA Play Safety has also produced with the help of British Gymnastics, a fact sheet aimed at commercial users of trampolines.
- British Gymnastics Association – further information on the use of trampolines on their website. They also run Gym Mark that accredits safe and effective clubs.
- Sport England lists clubs and facilities where you can take your child to take part in sport.
- Garden Trampolining Briefing Paper – August 2015
- You can download our flyer
- NHS Clyde and RoSPA Scotland campaign information