Can Toddlers Safely Use a Mini Trampoline?

If there’s one thing a toddler loves to do, it’s to bounce. You’ll find them jumping off your furniture, figuring out how many steps they can safely jump over, or jump off your deck into the sprinkler on a hot Summer day.

Some mini trampolines for kids are designed specifically with toddlers in mind. These “learn to bounce” products are usually 36 inches in diameter and have a safety bar to hold onto during use. That makes the trampoline safe to use as a product, but is it healthy to have toddlers jumping on a trampoline?

Parents Should Think Twice About Toddlers and Outdoor Trampolines

Although trampoline manufacturers will cringe, toddlers and outdoor trampolines aren’t necessarily the best combination for a fun activity. The bones in toddlers are softer than they are in older children or adults. That makes the bone more susceptible to compression because it is more spongy than solid.

That means the bones of toddlers can fail quite easily if the force placed on the bone is just right.

In 2014, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, funded by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, reported more than 100,000 injuries from trampolines that required a visit to an emergency room. 85% of those injuries involved children. 42% of those injuries were preschoolers or toddlers and involved bone fractures.

This data shows that in terms of leg fractures, a toddler is 7 times more likely to suffer an injury compared to playing soccer.

It isn’t the bone fracturing that is the biggest risk for a toddler. It is the fact that many fractures involve the growth plate.

What Happens with a Growth Plate Injury and a Toddler?

The growth plate forms around the end of the bones of children and is made from soft cartilage tissues. These cells harden into bone as the child grows, producing a longer bone to support the additional weight of the child. If these tissues are injured because of a fracture, it can impact how the bone grows in the future.

In some severe instances, a toddler with a growth plate injury to their femur may have one leg begin to grow longer than the other.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children age 5 or younger to not be on any recreational trampoline. That includes backyard trampolines or those that one might find at a recreational park.

Having multiple jumpers on a trampoline increases the risk of an injury occurring.

A majority of trampoline injuries to toddlers and preschoolers happen even with adult supervision present.

As parents, we want our children to have fun. We want them to have them enjoy the same experiences we did while growing up. Some of us jumped off of our roof onto the trampoline. We did numerous tricks and stunts for a good laugh. Great memories involve the trampoline.

By waiting to introduce children to the outdoor trampolines or the other recreational ones, a place to start is the mini trampoline. Although they are an indoor product, this type of trampoline introduces children to body control. That way, when they are old enough for the larger trampolines, they’ll be ready to use them safely.

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