The trampoline is something that continues to excite children generations after it was first invented, and many of us can still remember the first time we had our first jump. But for such a fun activity and common backyard device, there’s actually a very serious side to the trampoline.
Injuries from trampoline accidents are not only common, but they can also be extremely serious. The Consumer Product Safety Review in the United States reported 110,000 trampoline related injuries in 2006. In more recent years, there is suggested evidence of these numbers falling slightly but this has been attributed to a decrease in trampoline sales (perhaps due mostly to the age of the video game!). Of these injuries, 92% occurred in people between the age of 4 and 24.
There are a number of ways that a user can be injured while using a trampoline, but there are a few very common ones. For example, when there is more than one person on a trampoline, there is a high chance of a mid air collision or bump. Sometimes a bad landing can also cause great injury if a jump has been mistimed, and obviously falling off the trampoline altogether is one of the most common causes of injury. The lack of control when a user is in mid air is the reason this happens so often.
However, falling off the trampoline is not the only way to sustain an injury, as many trampoline users have been known to fall onto the springs or the frame, which can cause pinching, twisting, and trauma upon impact.
With so many things that can potentially go wrong, it’s vital that safety precautions are taken to minimise the risk of an accident or injury. The good news is that some common sense and appropriate equipment can go a long way to keeping your kids safe on the trampoline.
Here are some key tips:
Watch your kids
Simply being there when your children are using the trampoline can go a long way in preventing them from getting hurt. Supervising them to ensure that they are using it correctly and not attempting any dangerous manoeuvres such as flips and somersaults is the first step.
One at a time
It is crucial that you only ever allow one person on a trampoline at any given time. The risk of collision is too high and accounts for one of the most common causes of injury.
Ensuring that springs and frames are covered by appropriate padding will help keep your children safe in the event that they fall on either of these parts.
Scout the location
The stability of the trampoline itself is important in ensuring its safe operation. A level surface, away from overhead obstructions is important when finding a location for your backyard trampoline.
Nets or enclosures
Falling off the trampoline is a very real risk, especially for children who are not yet aware of their surroundings. For this reason, installing netting around the trampoline can help keep them within the bounds of safety and, if something were to go wrong, can prevent them from falling on the ground beside the trampoline.
Ensuring that your trampoline is not easily accessible for younger children is an important preventative measure as well. Just like fencing a swimming pool to restrict access, ensure that small children aren’t able to climb onto a trampoline unsupervised.
Careful supervision combined with common sense can go a long way when it comes to trampoline safety. Remain conscious of the risks and ensure you follow these tips to keep your children safe, allowing them to enjoy trampolining for years to come.