ALL
Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Home and Playground Trampoline and Bouncer Safety
Facebook Tweet Email Share

Main Content

Trampolines and Bouncers (Inflatable Devices)

Home and Playground Trampoline and Bouncer Safety

​​​​​Trampolines

Are home and playground trampolines safe?

No, home and playground trampolines aren’t safe. 

Do not use backyard trampolines. Jumping on the trampoline is a high risk activity with the potential for significant injury to children and youth.

Alberta Health Services and The Canadian Peadiatric recommends that trampolines not be used in backyards or playgrounds.

Quick Facts

  • Trampoline-related injury emergency department visits (0 to 14 yrs. of age) increased by 31% between 2013 to 2015
  • In 2015, there were 1,919 Alberta children aged 0 to 14 years that sustained trampoline-related injuries severe enough to require care in the Emergency Department
    • 20% of these children had dislocated ankles or feet
    • ​18% had leg fractures
    • 21% had fractures to their shoulders, elbow or arms
    • 140 of these children had head injuries
  • Children aged 5-9 had the highest trampoline injury rate in both 2014 and 2015
  • In 2015, there were 98 children (aged 0 to 14 years) in Alberta that were injured badly enough to require hospital admission for injuries sustained via trampoline play. That's a lot of ouch for the bounce.

The risk of the trampoline is in the use of the trampoline. Parents may think that safety nets, most often sold with trampolines to prevent people from falling off, will reduce this risk, but in reality, fewer than 30% of trampoline injuries are caused by children falling off the trampoline.

  • Parents should be advised to avoid the purchase of trampolines for the home because enclosures and adequate supervision are no guarantee against injury.
  • Trampolines should not be regarded as play equipment and should not be part of backyard play areas.

What types of injuries can happen on trampolines?

Trampoline injuries often include:

  • broken bones
  • head injuries
  • back and neck injuries
  • sprains, bruises, and cuts

In some cases, injuries are severe enough to cause a permanent disability or death.

Do safety nets, padding, and/or supervising lower the risk of injury?

Adult supervision, safety nets, and padding don’t lower the risk of being injured on trampolines. There is no trampoline that’s designed safe enough to prevent injuries. Injuries happen when:

  • more than one person jumps at a time
  • people do flips and somersaults
  • people land the wrong way
  • people fall off while jumping

Bouncers

Are bouncers safe?

Bouncers are not​ safe. In the last 2 years in Alberta, more than 80 people were treated for injuries from playing in or on an inflatable device.

Of all amusement park rides, 48% of injuries happen on inflatable slides and bouncers.

Injuries happen on bouncers when:

  • people bump into each other (bad injuries happen when people fall on someone who is smaller)
  • children fall off (tall structures with slides are the most dangerous)
  • the devices collapse (this happens if too many people are on at the same time and the air pump fails, or if the device isn’t set up according to the manufacturer’s directions)
  • the structure tips over or gets lifted up into the air when it’s windy

What types of injuries can happen on bouncers?

The types of injuries that can happen on bouncers can include:

  • broken bones
  • head injuries
  • back and neck injuries
  • sprains, bruises, and cuts

In some cases, injuries are severe enough to cause a permanent disability or death.

How can I help to keep my child safe on a bouncer?

If your child is playing on a bouncer at an amusement park or a community event, ask the operator to show you the proof of inspection and certification. The Alberta Safety Codes Act and Alberta Regulation (2012) requires that inflatable slides and most inflatable bounce devices be inspected and certified when used at public events (e.g., fairs, street parties, amusement parks).

Make sure the operator is supervising at all times. The bouncer must not be overloaded and it’s best that children who bounce together are about the same size.

For bouncers in backyards:

  • make sure the manufacturer’s directions are followed for set-up and use
  • supervise your child at all
  • tell your child to play safely

Prevent Injury by Staying Off Trampolines and Bouncers

Jumping on a trampoline may seem like a fun way to get exercise and play with friends, but the fun ends quickly when someone gets hurt. Here are some safer ways to get fun and exercise:

​ ​

Current as of: March 13, 2017

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services