A trampoline can provide huge health benefits for the whole family and hours of fun. They have become more popular in recent years, but with their increased popularity there has come about an increased number of accidents through their use.
According to the royal society for the prevention of accidents approximately 75% of injuries occurs when more than one person is on the trampoline with the person weighing less five times more likely to be injured. Children of a young age are particularly vulnerable to injury. Also unless the child is supervised by a trained 'spotter', adult supervision seems to do little to prevent accidents with about half of all injuries occurring with adult supervision.
Many of these accidents can be reduced by following some simple guidelines. It is also important to ensure you purchase the right trampoline and trampoline accessories. Trampoline nets and trampoline padding can prevent or reduce injury considerably.
What to consider when buying
Spending a bit more money on a trampoline and purchasing safety pads and safety nets can greatly reduce the risk of injury.
A good safety pad will cover the outer frame, the springs and hooks. A good safety enclosure or net will cover the inside of the outer rail of the trampoline. The outer rail is the circular bar to which trampoline springs are attached. This will not just prevent falls onto the ground but also on the hard outer surface of the trampoline where accidents are common.
Some trampoline models promoted as safe can have some major weaknesses and flaws particularly the budget trampolines which are often made of low quality materials and are poorly constructed. Ensure that the tubing used for the trampoline is of adequate thickness to prevent breakages and that the trampoline is not too light weight which may cause it to move around or flip over during use.
Springs and Springless Trampolines
When purchasing a trampoline or replacing springs ensure that the springs are galvanized to prevent corroding. As a general rule the larger the trampoline the more springs a trampoline will require and the longer and thicker the springs should be.
Springless or springfree trampolines use reinforced fiberglass rods or elastic rather then springs. These trampoline are often promoted as safer then trampolines with springs. However because of their design the entire surface rotates each time the user hits the mat. This can cause pain and discomfort and even result in long term damage to the knees over time. Also many of the cheap models create an inferior bounce compared to the spring trampolines.
Trampoline Safety Guidelines
Choose a clear area for the tramoline clear from hazards such as trees, wings or toys.
Never place the trampoline on a hard surface such as concrete. A fall on a hard surface is significantly more likely to result in serious injury. If you do not have a soft grassy lawn you can purchase bark wood chip or sand to go around the trampoline.
Trampolines can move around while in use so tie the trampoline down. You can use a tether kit for this.
Never let more than one child use the trampoline at the same time. Statistics show that accidents are much more likely when two or more persons are using the trampoline at the same time with the lighter person most likely to be injured.
Always supervise children and avoid allowing them to practice somersaults. These should only be performed in a properly organized club. Also exit a trampoline the proper way, not by jumping off!
Avoid them wearing or carrying anything hard like ipods or toys when jumping.
Encourage them to bounce in the center of the trampoline and keep other children back away from the trampoline. Never let them go underneath a trampoline.
If any parts of the trampoline are damaged avoid use and purchase the correct replacements before continuing.
When not in use ensure that the trampoline is kept dry to prevent rusting and that the mat is kept away from the sun as the ultraviolet rays of the sun can corrode the mat.