Reporter: Shannon Samson
Web Producer: Jason Bailey
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there were almost 92-thousand emergency room visits caused by trampoline accidents in 2001, which are the latest figures available.
The government agency is aware of only six deaths in the last 15-years. Not an alarming number, but one that shows trampolines can pose a clear danger if not used properly.
St. Mary's Emergency Medical Services Director Keith Kahre says supervision is most important, followed by maintenance. The safety pads should always be covering the trampoline's frame, hooks and springs.
"If this is absent, then someone on the trampoline can get over on the edge, get their foot caught in here and fall, obviously creating an injury, mostly a fractured leg or an ankle, something like that," says Kahre.
Three-fourths of all trampoline injuries happen when more than one person is on it. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says parents should allow only one kid at a time, but Kahre's advice is more lenient.
Kahre says, "Just make sure they understand that they don't want to get close to each other. They don't want to be playing around too hard to the point that they run into each other."
Kahre says a safety net that is attached to the perimeter of the trampoline is a great idea, but cautions against parents getting a false sense of security.
Kids should still take it pretty easy.
"They also don't recommend to do any sort of acrobatic maneuvers such as somersaults, things like that, unless they've been properly trained. Even in gymnastics, they always have spotters," says Kahre.
Always make sure the surface under the trampoline is soft. The experts say pine bark, woodchips or sand are best.
Keep the area around the trampoline free of toys. You don't want kids jumping off and landing on something sharp.