When it comes to young children, everyone has their own idea as to when the right age is for trampoline use. Parents will disagree with the experts and vice versa. The standard cut-off age is 6 but many parents and trampoline recreation businesses often start the kids off at younger ages.
In the end, this will be a decision you have to make on your own as every trampoline is different as are kids. For example, exercise trampolines are commonly used for children’s activities (see our review of the ReboundAir Ultimate Rebounder for an example of a trampoline that encourages children)
Why are Young Children Discouraged From Using a Trampoline
The main reason why experts tell parents not to let their under age 6 kids jump on a trampoline is due to the lack of development in key motor skills. But there are other reasons as well:
- The young child’s bones are not fully developed
- Impacts can cause injuries (see Are Trampolines Bad for Your Back)
- Children get injured more than adults
- The pressures kids put on themselves to perform can lead to more injuries
There are some smaller trampolines that are recommended for 4-6 years olds and these may be the safest way to get your kids used to one while giving them a lot of fun. As your child grows, you can always upgrade to a larger trampoline (see our ORCC 15′ Trampoline review).
Size Does Matter
It is just not the age of the child that counts but also the size of the trampoline. Kids under the age of 6 should start off with smaller trampolines although the rebounder may be too strong for them and too inflexible when they land. A good kid’s trampoline would be better.
Some people say that from age 6 to age 10, the right size of trampoline to use is 8 by 12 feet in size. Your kids are still not that tall and they can have a lot of fun on the smaller trampolines until they learn how to handle themselves when jumping.
When your kids get to the age of 11 or older, then you should upgrade again and go for a 14-foot model or a little larger (see the Merax 14′ Trampoline). The largest sizes are reserved for those older teens and adults who have grown up physically.
So, What is the Right Age to Allow Kids on a Trampoline
While this is a subjective boundary, the best age would be about 6 years of age. Your child should be mature enough at that age to understand what they are supposed to do and can grasp the instructions they need to jump safely.
Younger than that will require a lot of adult supervision and the children’s body is not physically ready for the impacts they will receive. But again, this is going to be your call and there is no real law that prohibits children younger than 6 from enjoying the use of a family trampoline. As a parent, you should know when your children are ready to start (see are mini trampolines safe for toddlers) but we also recommend that you start them at age 6 just to be on the safe side.
Tips to Help Your Children Have the Most Fun
Children can have lots of fun on a trampoline no matter their age. The key is to make sure they learn how to jump correctly. These tips should help you teach your children how to be safe and have fun at the same time:
- Teach your children the rules of using a trampoline. Make sure they know that horseplay is not allowed
- Monitor your children to make sure they are following your rules
- Restrict the trampoline to one user until your children have mastered those safety rules. You can add more users for games that require more people
- To keep kids from playing unsupervised, remove all ladders and other easy access points from the trampoline when not in use
- Do safety checks on the trampoline to make sure all the equipment is in top condition and safe to use
- Buy your trampoline from a reputable manufacturer whose products meet all safety standards, etc.
Some Final Words
When you were young you enjoyed playing on a trampoline. Now that you have kids of your own you want them to enjoy the same activities as you did. One of those activities is jumping on trampolines. While there is no set minimum age, you should proceed with caution when your kids are younger than the age of 6. Not every kid will be ready to jump when they are 2, 3, or even 4 years old. Make sure you teach your kids proper trampoline safety to reduce the risk of injury and have as much fun as possible.