Despite the joy and excitement they bring to people of all ages, trampolines can be very dangerous. Their mere design puts adults and children at risk. Children are the most susceptible, so it's the responsibility of the parent to ensure that they're using the backyard apparatus as safely as possible.
Unfortunately, injuries are far too common. While most aren't serious in nature, thousands of falls and bumps send enthusiastic bouncers to the hospital each year. What's upsetting is that most injuries can be avoided by following a simple trampoline safety checklist.
While it may seem like a nuisance, a meticulous trampoline safety checklist can make all the difference. It allows jumpers to enjoy the trampoline in confidence. Ultimately, it leads to a safe jumping experience while forming responsible habits in kids.
Trampolines should be set up in a safe and isolated area. It's recommended that 3 feet of clear and empty space surround the unit in all directions. This keeps it away from trees, fences, and any other hazard that could harm someone bouncing. It's also important to keep the trampoline upright and level. While this safety precaution should be taken during assembly, it's a good idea to check the trampoline's surroundings prior to jumping.
EXAMINE THE SPRINGS
Springs are a leading cause of injury on the trampoline. A large number of springs work in tandem to provide the appropriate tension and rebound. Over time, springs can become loose or damaged. This creates a vulnerable point on the jumping mat and a potentially dangerous hazard if landed on. It's important to inspect each spring and bolt. Tighten the bolts and replace broken springs as soon as possible.
PADDING AND ENCLOSURE NET
It should go without saying that the pads and enclosure net are vital. These essential components can dramatically reduce the chances of injury. They catch falling jumpers and cushion the blow of impacts against the blunt frame. Check the padding and net for damage is an important part of a trampoline safety checklist. If damaged, they can be replaced with ease.
KEEP IT CLEAN
The trampoline needs to be free of debris inside and out before anyone gets on. Branches, trash, and any other objects on the surface will be launched into the air and bounced around as the jumping mat moves. The area beneath the unit needs to be clear as well. The bottom of the trampoline should be visible at all times to ensure that it's free of hazards.
Even the smallest piece of jewelry is known to cause harm on a trampoline. Long necklaces can fly towards a jumper's face while bracelets and rings dig into the skin with a badly-positioned land. Kids and adults should remove jewelry and any other loose objects before entering the trampoline. This also includes coins and miscellaneous items in the pockets.
Flips and complex stunts are one of the most common ways jumpers experience injuries. While the jumping surface may seem flexible and soft, it can cause some real damage if landed on wrong. Acrobatics position the body upside down, putting the head and neck at risk. Regardless of how easy a trick looks, no one should attempt flips, somersaults, and any other acrobatics unless they are a trained professional.
NO KIDS UNDER SIX
It's very important to enforce a strict age limit on a full-sized trampoline. No one under six should ever step foot onto a trampoline as they don't have full control of their bodies just yet. They can't handle the rebound and are especially susceptible to injuries. Many mini trampolines are safe for them to use, but a large model is not.
KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE
Kids should never bounce on the trampoline without proper adult supervision. Children are naturally curious and adventurous. They may be jumping safely at one moment and trying to perform a dangerous trick the next. Parents need to keep a watchful eye and enforce safe bouncing rules to avoid injury.
ONE AT A TIME
It's not uncommon to see a group of kids having fun on a trampoline together. However, it's incredibly dangerous to allow more than one jumper on at one time. Multiple people are only additional obstacles to get around. Collisions are inevitable. Bumping into another person or landing on top of them can result in broken bones or worse. Not only that, but the increased weight is putting more stress on the trampoline's frame and springs. It's better to be patient and wait for turns than push the trampoline's weight limit and put bouncers at risk.
"These are just a few things to include on a trampoline safety checklist. Parents and owners need to go over this list before every jumping session. Trampolines are great for having fun and getting exercise, but only if they're safe. With a complete checklist in place, every jumper can get off unscathed and unharmed."