Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 6: Play Areas/Playgrounds and Transportation

6.2 Play Area/Playground Equipment

6.2.4 Specific Play Equipment Trampolines

Trampolines, both full and mini-size, should be prohibited from being used as part of the child care program activities both on-site and during field trips.
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) Policy Statements recommend the prohibition of trampolines for children younger than six years of age (1,2). The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also supports this position (3). The numbers of injuries incurred on trampolines is large and growing (4-8). Even if one accepts that the rates of injury are uncertain due to increasing sales as well as injuries, the severity of injury incurred (number of injuries requiring admission for surgery, small but documented number of deaths) all have supported those recommendations. Given the risk reflected in the recommendations of national health and safety groups, there are documented cases where insurance companies have refused to issue or to continue insurance to the home or child care center in which a trampoline was found.
The AAP recommends: “Despite all currently available measures to prevent injury, the potential for serious injury while using a trampoline remains. The need for supervision and trained personnel at all times makes home use extremely unwise” (1). The trampoline should not be used at home, inside or outside. During anticipatory guidance, health care professionals should advise parents/guardians never to purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines (2). The trampoline should not be part of routine physical education classes in schools (3). The trampoline has no place in outdoor playgrounds and should never be regarded as play equipment (1).
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention, and Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. 2006. Policy statement: Trampolines at home, school, and recreational centers. Pediatrics 117:1846-47.
  2. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). 2005. Trampolines and trampoline safety. Position Statement no. 1135. Rosemont, IL: AAOS.
  3. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Consumer product safety alert: Trampoline safety alert. Washington, DC: CPSC.
  4. Shields, B. J., S. A. Fernandez, G. A. Smith. 2005. Comparison of mini-trampoline and full-sized trampoline injuries in the United States. Pediatrics 116:96-103.
  5. Linakis, J. G., M. J. Mello, J. Machan, S. Amanullah, L. M. Palmisciano. 2007. Emergency department visits for pediatric trampoline-related injuries: An update. Academic Emergency Med 14:539-44.
  6. Levine, D. 2006. All-terrain vehicle, trampoline, and scooter injuries and their prevention in children. Current Ops Pediatrics 18:260-65.
  7. Smith, G. A. 1998. Injuries to children in the United States related to trampolines, 1990-1995: A national epidemic. Pediatrics 101:406-12.
  8. Bond, A. 2008. Trampolines unsafe for children at any age. AAP News 29:29.