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Trampoline Safety

The Ultimate Guide to Trampoline Safety


Young kids jumping on a trampoline

Photo Credit: Austin Kirk

As trampolines become increasingly popular, the number of trampoline-related injuries is on the rise. Studies have uncovered that over 1 million individuals paid visits to the emergency room resulting from trampoline injuries between 2002 and 2011 - that is close to 300 E.R. visits per day. With such a high number of injuries, prevention and proper cautionary steps can help users avoid becoming statistics.

While these statistics are concerning, many of these injuries are caused by neglect and misuse of the trampoline. A trampoline can be a fantastic source of fun and exercise for the entire family. As long as you are paying close attention to the safety precautions that come with purchasing a trampoline, you will greatly reduce the risk of injury for the entire family. To ensure you family has a safe and enjoyable time on your trampoline, this helpful guide from JustTrampolines.com provides all the necessary information you need.

General Trampoline Safety Rules

Before using a new trampoline, it is important to establish a list of rules for the individuals who will be jumping on it. Doing this from the beginning will help avoid the risk of serious injuries that may occur from misuse of the trampoline.

  • Practice - Whether you are a first-time jumper or an experienced athlete, it is important to learn the basics of jumping on the trampoline. This will allow you to stay in control of your jumps to negate the risk of awkward landings.

Having proper body control when jumping on your trampoline will go a long way in preventing any potential injuries which may arise from erratic jumping.

Be sure to keep your feet under you at all times and jump only as high as you feel comfortable going. When you feel like you can go higher, gradually advance rather than making large leaps.

  • Supervision - Keep a close watch on youngsters jumping on the trampoline. Ensure it is being used safely and responsibly at all times.

jumping high on a trampoline

Photo Credit: PV KS

Investing in a quality trampoline net is an excellent first step in keeping children safe on a trampoline as it keeps everything enclosed on the trampoline surface.Be sure to set ground rules for your children when jumping on the trampoline for the most preventative care possible.

  • Exit with Caution - Do not jump off the trampoline when you are done jumping! This can cause serious injuries due to a rough landing. Use ladder or stairs to get on and off of the trampoline.
  • One at a Time - While jumping with friends can be fun, allowing multiple jumpers on the trampoline greatly increases the risk of injuries for all individuals involved.

Teach children to take turns jumping and explain to them why the limit should be one person at a time. Their safety is the number one priority, so only allowing one at a time can help reduce the risk of injury for multiple children.

  • No Flips - Performing flips on the trampoline may look fun, but doing these can result in sprained limbs or broken bones due to awkward landings. It is best for untrained jumpers to avoid these stunts.

Flips on a trampoline should be saved for a proper gymnastics academy with trained professionals on-hand to watch and assist. When it comes to the at-home trampoline, make sure all jumpers keep their feet underneath them at all times.

Installing a Trampoline

side of trampoline enclosure netting

Photo Credit: PV KS

Acquiring a new trampoline is an exciting event for the whole family, but it is important to make sure it is installed safely and properly before the first use. Improper installation increases the risk of injury, and can also increase the probability of the trampoline becoming damaged.

If you are not comfortable assembling a trampoline on your own, look to your local professionals in your area to see if they offer assembly and installation services. This way, you can be sure the trampoline is put together properly.

  • Ensure Trampoline is put Together Properly - When putting a new trampoline together it is important to closely follow instructions throughout the entire process. It is equally important to check the frame and springs after jumping to ensure nothing was bumped loose.

A thorough inspection by yourself and others, potentially even a local trampoline professional from a sporting goods store, can help you be sure everything is fastened securely and free of any hazardous risks from anyone jumping.

  • Install on a Flat Surface - Once put together, the trampoline must only be used on a flat surface. Using a trampoline on an uneven surface can cause jumpers to lose balance - creating the risk of falling.

Some of your surface options include grass, sand, and dirt. Sand and dirt are excellent options as they can be smoothed out to create a more even surface, while grass can be more unpredictable in your backyard and have uneven sections in it.

Another outstanding option is to build an in-ground setting for your trampoline. By keeping the trampoline surface closer to the ground, you can decrease the chances of serious injury from falling off of the trampoline being closer to the ground. An in-ground trampoline also gives you the ability to make the surface as flat as possible to ensure stability.

                                                                                                                                                     Photo Credit: Pawel Loj

woman in red sweater jumping on trampoline

  • Keep Away From Concrete - Ensure the trampoline is placed on a safe surface. This may include grass, sand or dirt. Stay away from concrete, but if not possible, ensure that the trampoline has a safety enclosure net to keep jumpers from falling off.
  • Check Surroundings - Keep at least a six-foot area clear around all sides of the trampoline. Avoid using a trampoline near the house, fence or trees, and pick up any objects around or underneath the trampoline to avoid the risk of landing on them in the event of a fall.

Trampoline Maintenance

Trampolines require routine maintenance in order to stay in a safe and working condition. Wear and tear happens with nearly any product, but keeping up on this maintenance will help ensure safety of the product, as well as extend the lifespan of the trampoline.

  • Check for Tears - As a trampoline gets older, the mat and safety net can become worn - increasing the possibility of tearing. Always check for any tears in these materials, and if they are torn, make sure they are replaced before the trampoline is used again.
  • Weather Precautions - Snow, rain and wind can all wreak havoc on a trampoline. Moisture from snow and rain can cause the mat to become very slick, and frame and springs can accumulate rust. Strong winds can send a trampoline flying into the neighbor’s yard. It is best to stay up-to-date on the weather forecast will allow you to put the trampoline away or put the weather cover on it before it is too late.

When weather such as snow does occur, stay off the trampoline as the icy conditions can worsen the trampoline with normal jumping.

As far as high winds are concerned, anchoring the trampoline to the ground with metal stakes is a great way to ensure the trampoline stays in place.

  • Clean the Trampoline - Keeping the trampoline clean is vital to both its lifespan and the safety of jumpers. This includes keeping debris out of the springs and off of the mat, as this can cause irreversible damage to the integrity of the trampoline.

Another important maintenance aspect to ensure your trampoline lasts for years to come is staying up-to-date on the basic parts. From springs, poles, pads, enclosure nets and more, making sure these are “up to code” and in complete working order are crucial to the longevity of your trampoline.

Trampoline Safety Products

Enclosure Nettings - Safety nets are extremely useful for all jumpers - especially children. These nets help reduce the risk of falling off of the trampoline.

Before jumping on a trampoline for the first time, the enclosure netting should be installed and checked for safety and security. Be sure this netting is sturdy and can handle the weight of a jumper landing into it.

This will ensure the prevention of any injuries which may be sustained as a result of falling off the side of the trampoline.

dad installing trampoline enclosure netting

Photo Credit: Tim Pierce

Frame Pads - Frame pads help prevent common injuries amongst trampoline users caused by landing on the springs. These pads absorb a majority of the impact.

Frame pads are a must have for any trampoline owner as a variety of injuries can happen with exposed springs. From falling on the hard metal springs, to getting twisted between them, major injury can occur by landing on or around the springs at any angle.

For the safety of everyone jumping on the trampoline, make sure a quality frame pad is installed in your trampoline before jumping.

Foam Frame Sleeves - Frame sleeves help reduce injuries for users both on and off the trampoline. Providing cushion if an individual were to trip or fall on the frame as well as protecting from the enclosure netting frame.

While your trampoline should always have a quality enclosure to protect anyone jumping on it and prevent them from falling off, this isn’t the only safety precaution to add to your trampoline.

Foam frame sleeves for your enclosure are a must have, especially for children, to prevent any injury from hitting the poles on the enclosure itself.

These foam pads, resembling pool noodles, cover the poles of the trampoline enclosure to create a cushioned surface, protecting anyone who may jump into them.

Trampoline Ladders - Easy-to-install ladders allow for safe and easy access on and off of the trampoline.

No matter how tall your trampoline, a ladder should be a staple piece of equipment attached to the side for getting on and off the trampoline.

For all kids participating in trampoline activities, make it a rule from the start for them to enter and exit the trampoline with the use of the ladder. At no times should anyone jump off of the trampoline as this may cause serious injury.

Trampoline Anchors - Anchors ensure the trampoline will stay put while in use and will protect the trampoline in the event of heavy winds.

Recall Information:

Keeping your trampoline sturdy and anchored into one place is crucial for the safety of everyone jumping on it. This is why trampoline anchors are a must-have to keep your equipment safe. These metal stakes are simple to install, and a important for any trampoline owner. 

Awareness is essential for allowing your children to have a safe and enjoyable time on the trampoline, and being knowledgeable about potential defects and recalls for your trampoline.

PowerSports Recalls

Recalls on faulty or defective equipment is an important issue for any trampoline owner to be aware of as the equipment in question can pose a potentially fatal hazard to anyone on it.

Recent recalls for trampolines include the Sportspower BouncePro 14-foot Trampolines. An exclusive product at WalMart, the united State Consumer Product Safety Commission ordered the recall of approximately 120,000 of these models in 2012 and 2013 due to a falling hazard.

The hazard in question referred to the netting surrounding the trampoline as it posed a serious risk of breaking, allowing children to fall off the trampoline and suffer serious injury. The specific models being recalled were sold at WalMart between February 2009 and February 2012.

Skywalker Holdings Recalls

Prior to the Powersports recall, the USCPSC also recalled approximately 60,000 13-foot Square Trampolines distributed by Skywalker Holdings LLC in 2009. Another factory defect involving the enclosure, over 250 complaints showed reports of the straps holding the enclosure together breaking and allowing the enclosure to fail in keeping jumpers on the trampoline surface.

The trampolines in question were sold between January 2007 and February 2009 and are now illegal to be resold. Owners of this model can also contact Skywalker Holdings and receive a free repair kit for the trampoline in question.

Older Models

As years pass, natural wear and tear on a trampoline can be quite visible and pose a serious threat to anyone who steps foot on it. If you own a trampoline which is 10 years old or older, it may be time to get rid of it for a newer model. A very popular model from 1999 to 2003 were those produced by Jump King.

These trampolines became one of the largest recalls of any trampoline in 2005 when 1 million were recalled due to cracking in the frame and broken springs. Older models such as this should be removed and replaced with newer, higher quality models.

Staying Updated

If you have potential concerns about your trampoline or simply want to check up on the latest recall and defect news surrounding trampolines in general, there are several sites which keep updated records of all trampoline recall.

At Consumer Affairs, they provide a list of trampoline recalls and a detailed description of the exact problems customers have reported having with them. This guide can help you identify if you have the model or are having similar issues.

The site WeMakeItSafer, has an extensive list of recalled trampoline models and provides the opportunity to report if you have the item in question or own one which is similar.

You can also keep an eye on the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website and stay up to date on recalls by specific products as they happen. 

 

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