Are Trampoline Parks Safe?
That is a Prickly Question. Yes and No. Yes if you know what you’re doing. And, you know how to stay safe when you’re around a bunch of crazy untrained kids. But if you’ve never been trained and you’re not paying attention to what’s going on around you, I’d say juggling chainsaws would be safer.
How is Gymnastics any Safer?
It’s true that gymnastics is inherently dangerous. But, Coaches have been working for decades on training techniques and improving equipment to reduce injuries as much as possible.
Over the years they have found that there are 2 Rules for trampolines that can prevent almost all serious injuries.
Rule # 1 – Only One Person on the Trampoline!
One of the main causes for injury is having more than one person on the trampoline at the same time. This leads to double bouncing and collisions. The studies show that this is one of the leading causes for most of the catastrophic injuries when trampolines are involved.
Catastrophic Injuries are the worst you can get. We are talking compound fractures (then the bones come through skin), spinal injures, and even death. Those are classified as catastrophic injuries. Basically life threatening and permanently crippling injuries.
Double Bouncing happens when two or more people jump at the same time. When two people jump on the same trampoline at the same time there is a possibility that the power from both people get transferred to a single person. Usually the lighter individual get launched 2 or 3 times as high as they could possibly jump by themselves.
More Double Bounce Resources
Video Explaining Double Bouncing. Notice he tells you several times not to do this. The guys in the video are experts that have been training for years to do it safely. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhLPGIKuiac
Video of Backyard Trampoline where they are trying to double bounce the kid. Do Not Do This!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhnCjaNRPEk
Here is an article about a double bounce injury [Warning: not a happy story and will be upsetting] http://bit.ly/2ZKmmZg
Rule # 2 – Only Work Skills That Are Safe for Your Ability Level
In Gymnastics, trampolines are heavily supervised. If they are a good gym you will never see students on a trampoline without at least one coach supervising. They are there because each coach will know the skill level of their athletes and have a list of skills that your kids will be working on. Every skill has prerequisite skills that need to be mastered before working on the next more dangerous skill.
I like the analogy of learning to ride a bicycle before jumping on a motorcycle. If you’ve never learned how to do a backward roll safely on the floor why would you try a backflip on a trampoline. Gymnastics coaches have been figuring out how to train crazy difficult and extremely dangerous skills in the safest way possible for a very long time. We have figured out how to keep everyone as safe as possible.
I’ve seen too many kids, that have no training, watch a gymnast do a backflip and then just go for it. When I was a kid, I saw the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then tried a backflip. I landed straight on my head and luckily didn’t break my neck. I didn’t know that the guys in the turtle suits were actually gymnasts and acrobats.
Trampoline parks are fun. They can be great learning tools. BUT, like all tools they can be very dangerous if you don’t use them correctly.