Letting more than one child jump on a trampoline at the same time is simply not safeWhile trampolines are extremely popular toys for kids, they happen to be extremely dangerous. Serious back and neck injuries are not uncommon side effects of jumps gone wrong, while equally serious foot and ankle injuries are so common that the phrase “trampoline ankle” has been coined to describe the type of fracture commonly seen after a child gets hurt while jumping around on one of these contraptions.

According to a recent Canadian study, these injuries are so common because the surface of the trampoline changes quickly once it’s been jumped upon. Initially, the top of a trampoline is stretchy and pliant, but right after you’ve jumped on it, the surface becomes hard and solid. Lead research study author Dr. Luke Gauthier explains that, when that transformation happens, hitting the mat can have a force that’s “equivalent to falling from a building.” Ouch!

In order to keep your kids from falling on this super-rigid surface, the study authors have one simple suggestion: Don’t let more than one child on a trampoline at a time. If only one kid is bouncing, the surface of the trampoline can return to its normal pliancy between jumps. If multiple kids get on, any one of them could hit the surface right after someone else’s jump, when the trampoline top is most rigid and dangerous.

As parents, we hate to take away the simple joys of childhood, but I need to emphasize this warning: don’t mess around with trampolines. Follow the suggested safety guidelines and limit the number of jumpers at one time or else your child could be facing fractures so serious, only surgery can repair the damage.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.