Two things are sprouting on lawns across suburbia this time of year: dandelions and trampolines.
They are both ugly weeds that get too tall and are impossible to remove.
My Facebook feed is teeming with photos of friends who have scored a new tramp for their backyard. There are pics of the kids bouncing and laughing and having fun. At least on opening day.
Our backyard neighbors had a trampoline. The day they installed it, my wife cried. They put it in a far corner of their backyard, not 20 yards from our kitchen window. The only thing she saw above our fence where a view of sunrises and blue skies had been, was black nets. We loved the day that they moved.
Trampolines are terrible, people. They really, really are. People hate trampolines. You may love it (at first), but the day you unpack that thing everyone in the hood is scowling at you with a tsk tsk tsk under their breath.
If you are thinking about getting one for the kids this summer, stop. Don’t.
1. Trampolines Are Boring
The kids will use it half a dozen times. At most. Parents think tossing them in a bouncy mesh cage will be the perfect tonic to boredom. Truth is: kids get bored of bouncing on a trampoline too.
2. Trampolines Are Ugly
Unlike the Transformer, or dolly, or bike, or scooter that they get bored of, you can’t stuff a trampoline into the corner of a toybox or garage. It’s big. It’s ugly. I’ve seen some described as”the Ikea project from hell.” Have fun with that.
3. Trampolines Are A Waste Of Money
These bouncing things aren’t cheap people. And it will sit and stare at you and rust. Then, as the local birds and vermin make nests underneath it, you will be reminded every single day what an ugly, waste of money it was.
4. Trampolines Are Popular
Oh sure, during the first week you’ll think it’s awesome that every kid is coming over to play, but you’ll soon realize the other parents are smart. They didn’t waste the money on a big ugly tramp AND they get to ditch the kids on you. You’ll never have quiet again.
5. Trampolines Are Not Neighbourly
Stuffing it in the far corner of your yard away from your house just puts it closer to someone else’s house. Instead of being neighborly like Wilson and peering your nose over the fence to chat, you have erected what amounts to a big fishing net between the houses.
6. Trampolines Are America’s Funniest
Okay, the best part of America’s Funniest Videos is the moment you see a trampoline, because you know it’s not going to end well. But while it’s funny to laugh at someone else’s kid doing a face plant, how will you react when it’s yours?
7. Trampolines Are Responsible For 250,000 Injuries
As early as 1998, pediatricians were calling for a ban on trampolines as injuries doubled year over year. 250,000 trampoline-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States between 1990 and 1995.
8. Trampolines Beg Group Jumps
20% of injuries to the spinal cord caused by trampoline use are due to jumpers bumping into each other, trying to do stunts, or falling off of the trampoline.
9. Trampolines Break Things
You can’t just stop at one kid. They all want to be on at the same time and that’s when 75% of the injuries are most likely to happen. Fractures and dislocations make up nearly 1/2 the injuries and kids under 5 are most likely to get hurt.
10. Trampoline Nets Don’t Work
Nets, padding, and other safety features don’t really do anything to significantly decrease the risk of injury. via Pediatrics and USA Today.
11. Trampolines Invite Lawsuits
Remember all the kids coming over to use your tramp? Remember the part about everyone wanting to get on at the same time and that’s when the injuries happen? Well, many home insurance policies don’t cover injuries related to trampolines. Those neighbors just might become plaintiffs.
12. Trampolines Really Break Things
Trampolines present a unique set of circumstances for injury, and they’re not all from falling off the trampoline. If your kids like to have you bouncing with them, you’re risking a type of broken leg called a proximal tibia fracture.
It is likely in kids under 6 and happens when you have a 170 pound adult bouncing with a 40 pound child, the recoil of the tramp isn’t always consistent. If a child lands incorrectly, when the tramp isn’t cushioning, it’s equivalent of landing 9 feet onto a hard surface. *Snap*
13. Ask Your Doctor
Don’t take my word for it, listen to your doctor. Last September, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “strongly discourages” the use of recreational trampolines, either at home or in commercial indoor parks.
14. Trampolines Are Still Boring, Ugly, Wastes of Money
Did I mention that trampolines are boring, ugly, wastes of money that are rude barriers in a neighborhood and hurt kids? Okay, just checking.