Safe Trampoline recommendations?
July 20, 2019 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Daughter’s going to be 5 next month, and she really loves trampolines, so it’s time to jump in. I grew up in a family where I was promised compound-complex fractures for looking sideways at a trampoline — but I’ve gotten over the “whether” question, and now down to the “which” - some magical combo of fun and safe. Does anyone have recommendations for a 10-foot-ish trampoline with the cool neeting around it?

Searching review sites brings up brands like Springfree and Skywalker as being exceptionally safe for all kinds of technical reasons, but (a) these reviews so often sound like Amazon referral vehicles, and (b) it seems like they’re intentionally springless, which makes me wonder if they’re sufficiently springgy? Thanks for any advice!
posted by rdn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No recommendations from me, but a warning. I am retired from working in insurance and the company I worked for would cancel your homeowners insurance if they learned that there was a trampoline on the property. They would cancel even if there had been no claims.
posted by daneflute at 12:11 PM on July 20, 2019 [12 favorites]

Five years old is very young and even if you were at the side of the trampoline advising her at every bounce "you're going too high" or "don't do somersaults" all it takes is that one moment when she attempts a back aerial and lands awkwardly on her neck.... I hesitate to be the Voice of Doom, but I think that backyard trampolines are a safety hazard for youngsters, especially kindergarten-aged kids.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:38 PM on July 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

Another option that I've seen is placing them on the ground. I guess you'd dig holes for the legs or something but that seems far safer than even the netting.
posted by k8t at 12:38 PM on July 20, 2019

Springfree are designed specifically to be safer and are just as springy as other tramps.

No Amazon referrals here, just I'm based in NZ and Springfree is one of the few NZ brands that's had global success, due to their high quality and great safety.
posted by happyinmotion at 1:49 PM on July 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

We bought our son a trampoline at Toys R' Us for his 5th birthday when he had chickenpox (despite being vaccinated!). We considered the risks versus benefit, checked our homeowner's policy and decided that it was good exercise for all of us, good fun and we are glad we got it.

We have this one, 10 feet. We like that the posts are padded and the 'door' is zippered and clips up high, but we feel that our behavioral rules for use of the trampoline matter most. We do not allow flips/somersaults, multiple bouncers at a time, or people hanging off of it while someone else bounces. We keep it zipped and clipped when not in use, and no ladder. I do not allow other children to use the trampoline unless their parents are present - though I admit this may be more of a problem in coming years when kids come over more often without their parents.

AAP says most injuries happen from flips/somersaults, or from multiple people bouncing at a time. They discourage trampolines in general, and for valid concerns that I do recognize and have duly considered, however I would point out that bikes and playground equipment cause more injuries and swimming causes about the same number (see above link). Everyone has to make their own risk decisions for their own family, and there are lots of things others see as commonplace that we in my cautious thoughtful family aren't comfortable with.

So if you decide to go forward - strictly enforce sensible rules, take reasonable precautions, and have fun. I cannot recommend enough the fun, as a grownup, of putting some loud music on (or on headphones) and bouncing out your energy after the kid(s) leave for school or go to bed.
posted by ramble-on-prose at 2:08 PM on July 20, 2019 [10 favorites]

Good on you! Trampolines are great fun, my three grew up with one from a young age, with no incidents. My daughter just got one for her 3yo, that might be a bit young, with no bigger child to show him 'how', 5yo sounds about right. I'd agree with the netting enclosure. My children only had a few rules - one at a time, no jumping off the mat to the ground (no net obviously), that's about it. And an adult supervising.
posted by GeeEmm at 2:18 PM on July 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I’m an emergency doc. Don’t get a trampoline for your small child! Little kids who otherwise would not be able to generate the force required to break bones are easily able to do so on the trampoline. I have seen too many gory pediatric trampoline injuries to count. Sorry for the derail.
posted by killdevil at 7:46 AM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

We have had a Springfree trampoline for 8 years - since our youngest was 5. And we have had 20+ foster kids stay with us in that time.

I thought we were crazy when we bought it but it was one of the best decisions we made. It bounces like a champ, the net and pad have been super durable, and having no springs and a base well below the mat take away two of the more unsafe aspects.

Our kids still love to go out there, and when new kids come over it’s a magnet/equalizer; everyone has fun in a trampoline.
posted by AgentRocket at 3:01 PM on July 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

Belated thanks to all for the answers! We’re still interested, but decided to hold off this year (as much because of little brother as anything). But we appreciate all the views and product recommendations!
posted by rdn at 6:40 AM on July 29, 2019

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