For many kids, the bouncy fun of jumping on a trampoline is one of the best parts of being a kid. But for some children with epilepsy, a trampoline can be dangerous. That’s because, for some children with seizures, especially younger ones, repetitive jumping or falling motions can bring on an unexpected seizure.
For example, if your child has had seizures in the past and recently suffered head trauma from playing on a trampoline, there’s no need to panic.
But if your child has never had any problems with their condition before, or if you’re at all unsure about how safe it would be for them to jump, talk to your doctor before turning one into their minefield.
Trampoline and epilepsy
If you have epilepsy, you may wonder whether it’s safe to jump on a trampoline. While the answer to this question is not entirely clear, several factors must be considered.
What is epilepsy? Epilepsy is a condition in which abnormal electrical discharges occur in the brain and cause seizures.
A seizure occurs when these electrical discharges cause changes in behavior, feelings, or body movements for a brief period that can range from seconds up to several minutes.
What causes seizures? Seizures can be caused by many different things such as head trauma, stroke, low blood sugar levels, drug withdrawal symptoms, infections like meningitis or encephalitis (infection of your brain), tumors on your brain stem, and this list goes on.
Can trampoline cause seizures?
Trampoline jumping is a high-impact activity, and it can cause a seizure if done in a way that is uncomfortable or dangerous.
Repetitive actions like trampoline jumping can cause a seizure, and if you’re doing something repeatedly, you’re more likely to have a seizure.
If you experience any of the symptoms below during your time on the trampoline, sit down immediately:
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet
For some children, jumping, especially repetitive jumping, can bring on a seizure.
Trampoline seizures are a type of seizure that only affects certain people and isn’t caused by epilepsy.
They happen when someone has an abnormal electrical firing in the brain, making them feel very sleepy or dizzy and then pass out for just a few seconds to minutes.
Anyone can be affected by trampoline seizures, including those without epilepsy or who’ve never had any other kind of seizure before.
Most people with this condition are between the ages of 8–12 years old and have no history of other types of seizures (like grand mal). Trampoline seizures happen more often in boys than girls. However, it’s not clear why this is so since there isn’t enough research yet.
Repetitive jumping is more likely to provoke a seizure.
In general, trampoline jumping is not recommended for people with epilepsy. -This is because repetitive jumping is more likely to provoke a seizure if it involves constant downward force that compresses the spine.
However, taking proper precautions, trampoline jumping can be safe for people with epilepsy. The following steps can help ensure your safety:
- Ensure that your trampoline has been assembled correctly and regularly check all its safety features.
- Jump on a mat or other soft surface when using your trampoline; this will reduce the likelihood of injury during falls or collisions with others in the same spot as you.
- Please make sure there are no sharp objects nearby before getting on the trampoline so that you don’t accidentally scrape yourself or anyone else while bouncing off them (or intentionally).
Trampolines can be great fun for kids and adults alike. But you should take precautions to keep your family safe, especially if you or someone in your house has seizures.
As always, ensure everyone jumping on the trampoline is wearing a helmet and pads. Also, make sure that kids prone to seizures avoid high-risk activities like swimming alone or driving a car.
If your son has epilepsy but wants to jump on a trampoline anyway, talk with his doctor about whether it’s safe for him to do so. If their professional opinion doesn’t recommend it, don’t force them into doing something dangerous.