Trampolining for Kids – Benefits and Risks
Trampolining is an energetic and fun activity enjoyed by all kids. The thrill of jumping on a trampoline gives a sense of adventure to kids. This attracts the kids of all ages to hop on a trampoline and squeal with delight as they enjoy being air-bound and then falling back. Parents also want their kids to engage in such physical activity as it burns off their excess energy and helps in keeping them fit. For this reason, there are many trampolines seen across homes and in playgrounds. However, before introducing your kid to a trampoline, you should know the benefits and risks of trampolining. So read on to know how to make trampolining safe for your kids.
What Is a Trampoline?
Trampoline is one the most desired toy that every child wants in their childhood years. In simple terms, a trampoline is a fitness device that can also be used for recreational and gymnastic activities. It is made up of a thick mesh fabric stretched on a circular frame. The fabric is attached to the frame with springs, and this allows a person to jump and bounce on top of it.
Right Age to Introduce Trampoline to Kids
Often parents wonder what the right age to introduce their kids to a trampoline is. According to many studies, the right age for kids to start trampolining is 6 years. Before this, their bodies are not fully developed, and their bones are not strong enough to handle the repetitive pressure or impact of jumping. Young children under six may sustain injuries on the trampoline, so caution is advised. However, some studies say four-year-old kids who are active and well-built can do trampolining under adult supervision. For younger kids under four, their parents can let them play on a mini trampoline, provided all safety measures are taken care of.
Benefits of Trampolining for Children
Trampolining is not just kids jumping up and down on a trampoline. There is much more to it than jumping. One can gain a lot of physical and mental benefits from regular trampolining. Here is a list of benefits of trampolining for kids.
1. Encourages Kids to Go Out
Trampoline encourages kids to go out and enjoy instead of sitting inside and playing video games or playing on mobile phones. It ensures they get fresh air and the required amount of Vitamin D as well. Being out keeps them healthy and active.
2. Improves Flexibility
When a kid jumps up and down on a trampoline, their muscles become lengthier, and it boosts their muscle strength improving their flexibility.
3. Builds Immunity
Trampolining pushes toxins out of the body and boosts the absorption of nutrients as it stimulates the functioning of internal organs and promotes lymphatic circulation. So, bouncing on a trampoline detoxifies the body and strengthens the immune system.
4. Improves Posture
To maintain balance on a trampoline, the kid has to be constantly aware of their centre of gravity. Bouncing also requires stronger muscles. So, as kids learn trampolining, their muscles, spine, and joints become stronger. This increases their core strength and balance. As a result of these things combined, their posture improves.
5. Builds Physical Fitness
Trampolining improves physical fitness. It is a way of making exercise fun. As they bounce on the trampoline, the kids move their bodies a lot and exercise without realizing it. Some studies say ten minutes of bouncing on a trampoline is almost equal to thirty minutes of running. So, for kids and adults, a trampoline is a means of fun and play and is a good way of keeping fit and healthy.
6. Improves Coordination
To maintain coordination and balance while jumping up and down on a trampoline, a kid needs to control different limbs and muscles of their body. The combined action of bouncing, maintaining balance, and concentration to adjust their position, helps the kid improve their coordination.
7. Boosts Energy Level
As a kid bounces on a trampoline, more oxygen is inhaled and carried around in the bloodstream throughout the body. The increased oxygen instantly boosts the energy levels and makes the kid more alert. So, to help your child become more active, get them on a trampoline.
8. Healthier Cardiovascular System
The kid’s heart rate increases when they jump on a trampoline. Increased heart rate strengthens the muscles for a healthier cardiovascular system.
9. Enhances Motor Skills
While trampolining, a kid needs to use both sides of their body and brain. The bilateral brain function improves their motor skills leading to better dexterity, muscle control, and kinaesthetic awareness.
10. Makes Bones Stronger
Bouncing strengthens the musculoskeletal system of the child, increasing their bone density. Also, since trampolining is done outside, the absorption of Vitamin D promotes healthy bone growth. So, trampolining makes kids’ bones stronger and helps to prevent serious bone issues such as osteoporosis.
11. Teaches Persistence
Mastering trampoline takes time and a lot of effort. The kid needs to master their coordination, concentration, and balance to move on the trampoline. This requires persistence. The persistence learned during trampolining is used in other activities and spheres of life as well.
12. Develops Learning Ability
As the kid learns to control their body movement and balance on a trampoline, their learning ability for other things improves as well. The concentration power of the kid improves, which in turn boosts their cognitive function.
13. Builds Confidence
Mastering the trampoline is no small feat. When the kid learns to coordinate and balance on a trampoline, their confidence and self-esteem improve. Bouncing on the trampoline also develops their physical fitness and makes them active physically and mentally. Together all this boosts their self-confidence and courage.
14. Improves Their Mood
Jumping is a great mood enhancer for everyone. As the kid jumps on the trampoline, their oxygen circulation increases, which stimulates the endorphins production. Endorphins are natural mood-enhancers, so more endorphins result in a better mood.
15. Protects Bones and Joints
Jumping on a trampoline is a low-impact activity. This is one of the main benefits of trampoline for toddlers. It means it is good for kids during their developmental years when their bones are developing. Bouncing on trampoline cushions and protects their joints while making them stronger, unlike another high-impact exercise like jogging.
16. Improves Sleep Quality
Trampolining makes the kids go out in the sun and fresh air. This reduces their anxiety and stress and improves their sleep quality. Many of their sleep issues are reduced, helping kids sleep better and for a longer duration.
17. Helps With Studies
Trampolining improves the core strength of the kid and helps them sit for a longer duration in school without disturbing their concentration. It also improves the mental activeness of the kid and helps them stay alert and focused. So, trampolining improves the child’s memory and concentration, helping them study better.
How Does a Trampoline Help an Autistic Child?
Many studies state that trampolining is helpful for an autistic child. Many autistic kids struggle in interacting with other kids or adults. These kids feel excluded from their peers in school and may find it difficult to make friends. With its various health benefits, trampolining gives autistic kids a great way to enjoy themselves and serves as a means to interact with other kids. It also helps in reducing anxiety and stress. Kids find the rhythmic action of bouncing soothing, especially after a stressful day or incident. So, it helps the kid stay calm and sleep well.
Trampolining improves impulse control, coordination, concentration, and focus. So trampolining can have a positive impact on the behaviour of kids with autism. It is also a great means to provide sensory stimulation to focus on one activity. So with trampolining, they learn to focus when they feel overstimulated.
Dangers of Trampolining for Kids
Trampolines are common in most homes with kids. Most parents ensure the safety of trampolines before they allow their kids to play on them. In fact, due to the many health and other benefits of trampolining, a lot of parents encourage their kids to do trampolining. But some parents also wonder if trampolining is safe for kids. Yes, trampolines are safe and good for kids, provided all safety measures are taken. However, there can be certain trampoline-related injuries or dangers for the kids. Young kids have less control over how they bounce or where they land, so they may sustain injuries when they fall. Although most trampolines come with safety measures, a child jumping on a trampoline may have minor injuries due to falls. Still, some paediatricians discourage the use of trampolines for toddlers. The worst-case dangers due to injuries from trampoline falls are brain damage, paralysis, neurological injuries, broken bones, sprains, head injury, or death. Most of these happen when a child tries to somersault or flip over and fall on the trampoline. Sometimes many kids are jumping on a trampoline together, and they can get injured by colliding with each other or with the device’s frame or spring. So, to avoid any injury or mishaps and to make sure the trampoline is safe for kids, using it safely is important.
How to Make Trampolining Safer for Children
Trampolining is a fun activity for kids with many health benefits. However, to avoid any mishaps from happening, it is best to make them safe for young kids. Here are a few tips to make trampolining safe for kids.
1. One Child at a Time Rule
Most common injuries happen on the trampoline when many kids jump together on the trampoline and collide with each other. So the best way to avoid trampoline injuries is to allow only one kid at a time. You can have a time limit or turns when more than one child wants to play on a trampoline.
2. Purchase All Safety Equipment
To ensure the trampoline is safe for your child, purchase a good-quality trampoline with all the right safety equipment. Your trampoline should have good shock-absorbing pads that cover the metal frame, hooks, and springs completely. Also, the trampoline should be covered with a net enclosure. Whenever you see any wear or tear in the padding, replace it immediately. Also, make sure to install the trampoline after reading the user manual carefully properly.
3. Correct Location
The location of your trampoline has to be chosen wisely. Set up the trampoline on level ground away from trees or other structures so that it stays stable.
4. Mandatory Adult Supervision
Kids will always be kids, so make sure there is one adult always present when they are playing on the trampoline. The adult will make sure the kids are not flipping or hanging from the net or colliding with each other.
5. Forbid Flips and Somersaults
Somersaulting and flips are dangerous even for older kids. They put the kids at risk of head, spinal, or neck injury. So the adult present should forbid the children from doing these dangerous tricks.
6. Have a Separate Space for Other Kids Waiting
When there is more than one kid for trampolining, ensure there is a separate waiting space for the children waiting for their turn. If there is no separate space, the kids will end up standing near the trampoline, and the child bouncing on the trampoline may collide with them.
7. Provide Fun Challenges to the Kids
As somersaults and flips are banned from trampolining, try making it fun for the kids by coming up with exciting challenges or activities. You can ask them to throw a ball or play memory games while bouncing or waiting for their turn.
Trampolines are a great source of fun and enjoyment. Bouncing up and down on them is good for a child’s health and provides additional benefits such as improved concentration, motor skills, coordination, etc. However, to get the best benefits of a trampoline, using it safely is a must.