top of page

Children with Downs Syndrome or SEN

Jump Xtreme & That Fun Place welcomes all children including all those with special needs.  We hold regular SEN sessions, please check with your local park for details of these sessions.  Where appropriate SEN Children may take part in regular sessions, depending on the individual needs of the Child and an assessment by our Duty Manager of if conditions in the park are appropriate, which may mean we cannot accommodate some SEN Children at very busy times for the safety of all our visitors.  We would advise you to contact your local park before booking or travelling.

People with Downs Syndrome can suffer from an enhanced risk of Atlanto-Axial Instability, which can mean a greater risk of injury whilst participating in Trampolining. Jump Xtreme has adopted the guidance of British Gymnastics with regards to managing this risk and will require sight of a medical assessment before a person with Downs Syndrome may participate in Trampolining sessions.  The British Gymnastics guidance is below.  The Safety of all of our visitors is always our #1 priority.


British Gymnastics Policy
Atlanto-Axial Instability

What is Atlanto-Axial Instability?

In people with Down’s syndrome, the ligaments which normally hold the joints stable can be very slack. This can lead to an unusually wide range of movement at some joints – much greater than in the general population. As well as affecting the ordinary limb joints, this can affect one of the joints in the neck; the atlanto-axial joint. The joint is the highest joint in the spinal column and it lies just at the base of the skull. There is movement at this joint whenever you nod or shake your head.

In some people with Down’s syndrome, in addition to a slack ligament, the actual bones of the atlanto-axial joint may be poorly developed. These differences could make the joint more unstable and more likely to dislocate than in people without Down’s syndrome. (This instability is known as atlanto-axial instability)

Due to the changes within the joint, some people with Down’s Syndrome who have confirmed atlanto-axial instability may be at a greater risk of whip lash type injuries (from activities such as trampolining), which could lead to paralysis. They may also be at a greater risk of serious injury arising as a result of chronic pressure on the neck. (Gymnastic activities such as headstands or backward rolls could cause this type of pressure on the neck)

What do I need to do as a coach or instructor?

In order to safeguard the participation of gymnasts with Down’s Syndrome, British Gymnastics has adopted an atlanto-axial instability screening policy for all gymnasts with Down’s Syndrome.

As a coach or instructor, YOU MUST ensure that all gymnasts with Down’s Syndrome are medically screened prior to participating in any gymnastic activity.

British Gymnastics Screening Policy

British Gymnastics has a policy of screening all participants with Down’s Syndrome prior to them taking part in gymnastic activities. The aim of the screening is to provide access to gymnastics and trampolining for everyone who can benefit from involvement in this sport and who are at no greater risk than other gymnasts.

Screening must be undertaken by a qualified medical practitioner. Those who are eligible to undertake the necessary tests include General Practitioners; Orthopaedic or Paediatric

Consultants; School Medical Officers/Doctors; Chartered Physiotherapists.

Once screened, if the participant does not have atlanto-axial instability, then they will be approved to participate in gymnastics. However, if a participant is confirmed as having atlanto-axial instability, the British Gymnastics Chief Medical Officer will stipulate the level of gymnastic activity that is permitted for the participant (permitted activity will be determined on a case-by-case basis and could include; total exclusion from all gymnastics activity or allowing the individual to participate in a limited number of disciplines and/or skills within gymnastics).

More information can be found within the British Gymnastics Atlanto Axial Information Pack.

bottom of page