Fun: 600, Injuries: 0

Marco (7) jumps from the playhouse to the trampoline. He started this before he turned 6. Then, a few months later, he started jumping from that roof up there. No sweat...

My kids and neighbor kids have jumped on our in-ground trampoline practically every day since we installed it over 600 days ago. I mean, they really jump.

They do seat bounces and knee bounces and stomach bounces. They try forward and backward flips. They jump over things. They jump from the playhouse rails three feet high and four feet away. A few have even jumped from the playhouse roof, nine feet high and four feet away!

And no one has gotten an injury that lasted more than a couple minutes of crying. No blood. No broken bones. No strained ligaments or concussions. Every kid who’s ever jumped here has left in perfect health. They often cry when they leave, but that’s not because they’re in physical pain.

So, are we just incredibly lucky? No, I don’t think so. Sure, perhaps we’re a bit lucky, just like you are every time you drive your kids in a car and don’t get into a serious injury accident.

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You should definitely watch this stunt on video (above)! Marco jumps from the playhouse to the trampoline, then immediately jumps into a huge hollow ball.

I’d say we’re doing a few things right with our trampoline. First and foremost, we installed our trampoline in-ground, and we surrounded it with lots of padding and outdoor beanbag couches. Above-ground trampolines are a lot less safe because kids have to climb a ladder to get in and out of them, and because they’re surrounded by hard steel poles. In-ground trampolines are also a lot more fun for jumpers and social for non-jumpers.

Also, we adults have imposed very few trampoline rules and we hardly ever monitor kids while they use it.

That’s right. We trust the kids to figure it out. Of course, if we hear a kid crying, we quickly cradle the kid and soothe the pain. Otherwise, though, we pretty much let them go.

So, they’ve taught themselves how to take their own risks. Sometimes they fail and get a bump or bruise, but to date, no one has tried to do something so far beyond his or her abilities that a serious injury has resulted.

They’re pushing their own abilities far further than I ever could have imagined, they’re having a ton of fun, and no one’s gotten seriously injured to date.

Boy, that’s quite a success, I’d say.

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