Kids love trampolines – the joy of bouncing up and down over and over is just unbeatable. There’s a lot of smiles and laughter involved, and many kids simply consider “trampoline” to be a synonym for “fun”. But, unfortunately, like a lot of things that are fun, trampolines come with a significant amount of risk. Whether your kids are begging you to get one for the backyard or you’ve already got one at your house, it’s important that you understand why trampolines are such a risk – and how to make safety key.
Why are trampolines such a risk?
Aside from the fact that trampolines can be dangerous (what if someone falls off, or what if someone lands wrong and breaks something?) they can also create liability for homeowners. Trampolines are known as attractive nuisances because they draw people in – particularly little kids. And if children see the trampoline, they might decide to invite themselves into your yard for a jump. If the child gets hurt, you could be held liable. And that could turn into a nightmare.
So, keep safety in the front of your mind!
Trampoline safety tips.
It’s also important that you do everything you can to make your trampoline as safe as possible. Here are a few tips for top-notch trampoline safety.
1. Have a fenced-in yard.
You can thwart potential pint-sized trespassers by having a fenced-in yard. You can keep kids away from the trampoline if you have a nice, sturdy fence surrounding the yard. That way you’ll have more control over who’s bouncing. Hopefully, you won’t look out the window to see some kid you may or may not know bouncing for the sky without your permission.
2. Always supervise the jumping.
It’s important that you supervise the spring-loaded fun. Kids shouldn’t be jumping without you keeping an eye on things. That way you can supervise the antics of the excited, bouncy trampoline-goers.
3. Only allow one person to jump at a time.
Yes, it might seem like a lot of fun to pile a bunch of people onto a trampoline so they can jump together. But here’s the thing: what if someone accidentally catapults into someone else, or what if someone rocket-launches someone else off the trampoline? Yes, it’s probably for the best that you only let one person bounce at a time.
4. Have an age-limit.
It’s probably a good idea to limit trampoline privileges to those above age six. Kids younger than that are so little, and you don’t want them getting hurt. Yes, the little ones might beg for a turn, but stick to activities that are appropriate for their age.
5. Be smart about the ladder.
Don’t leave the ladder by the trampoline where enterprising youngsters could scramble up onto the trampoline. With no ladder, it’s harder for kids to climb onto the trampoline. Even simple things can help deter determined little ones.
6. Leave the stunts to the professionals.
Not to take all the fun out of bouncing on the trampoline, but you should probably not allow flips or somersaults. Someone could land on their neck or head, which would not be good. Both of those things are important.
Likewise, don’t allow anyone to use the trampoline as a springboard to jump onto other things. As we said, leave the stunts and trick jumps to the pros.
7. Have safety padding.
Make sure the trampoline has enough padding. There should be padding to cover the hooks, frame, and springs of the trampoline. You don’t want any fingers to get pinched, or any elbows or knees to get sliced by a sharp edge. You don’t want any fingers to get pinched, or any elbows or knees to get sliced by a sharp edge. You can prevent a meltdown and tears that way.
8. Choose the spot strategically.
You need to scout a good spot. It needs to go on level ground so it’s not lopsided. And it’s probably best to avoid things like trees or other obstacles. Basically, pick a level spot away from things that could hurt a trampoline jumper.
9. Have safety netting.
You’ve also got to have safety netting to prevent people from flying off the trampoline if there’s a jump that goes astray. This is essential for safety.
10. Check the trampoline before each jump.
You should also check the trampoline before each use. Are the springs okay? Is the jumping surface torn or worn? Check that everything is shipshape before allowing anyone to jump. Just taking the time to do a pre-jump inspection can help you avert disaster.
Trampolines can be fun, but they can also be dangerous. Don’t underestimate the importance of laying down some ground rules in the interest of trampoline safety. Remember to get the appropriate safety netting and not to leave the ladder around. Supervise all jumpers. It’s all fine and good to have some fun jumping on a trampoline, but do so safely! Just a few basics can ensure that no trampoline-related calamities befall your household.