Trampoline Safety 101
While trampolines can be a lot of fun and provide hours of entertainment for adults and children alike, they can also be dangerous if they are not used properly. Like with any sport, it’s important to understand the risks and take precautions to avoid serious injuries. Fortunately, there are a number of different things that you can do in order to avoid being hurt and still have a great time bouncing.
Read the Manual
The number one thing that you can do to stay safe on your trampoline is to actually read the manual and make sure you understand how it works. While it may seem simple and most sporting equipment is designed to be intuitive, there may be something you’re missing. Perhaps there is a lock for the legs that you weren’t aware of. There might be a specific place to attach a ladder that is more stable than other places on the frame. You might need to know places on the mat that are prone to mis-bounces.
Even if you don’t find anything like that, there are often safety tips that are specific to that particular brand and model that are going to be laid out for you. Don’t miss out on important information because you didn’t want to flip through the book that comes with the product.
Always Use a Net. Always
There is absolutely no compelling reason not to use a safety net around your trampoline. Even if you have one built into the ground, you’re still going to want something to catch you or your children if they bounce improperly or go out of control.
Safety nets are fairly inexpensive, easy to put up and take down, and can drastically reduce the chance for injury while not changing the trampolining experience at all. In fact, it can be even more fun to have the net to catch you.
Not putting up a safety net is taking an unnecessary risk.
Pad Your Trampoline
While the mat itself is soft and easy to jump and rest on, the majority of the parts of a trampoline are hard and occasionally sharp. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire rig is unsafe, but it does mean that some precautions should be taken in order to avoid unnecessary injury.
The easiest thing for new trampoline owners to do is to pad the sides and the springs to avoid accidentally stepping or landing on them. Padding comes in a number of different shapes, sizes, colors, and thicknesses. It can be attached to almost any trampoline and does a great job of preventing head injuries caused by landing skull-first on the frame as well as jumping and landing on a sharp spring end, cutting your feet.
Supervise All Trampoline Time
If you’re a parent who has gotten an outdoor trampoline for your child, make sure that you supervise the time that they and their friends spend in there. Even if you have a safety net up, kids have an incredible ability to find more exciting, more dangerous ways to do any given activity. Make sure that you are there and paying attention to prevent any risky behavior.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you always have to be sitting off to the side, however. It’s entirely possible and even better to climb on board and bounce right along with your kids. Trampolines can be family fun activities very easily, and you’ll be right there watching to make sure your child is safe while having fun and modeling good behavior.
Choose Your Ground Wisely
The place where you put a trampoline matters and can effect how you go about play with one.
The first thing you should do is make sure that your trampoline is sitting on level ground. If the ground tilts, that can affect the way that you bounce, making it more likely that you will hit at an angle that will send you flying toward the side of the rebounder and not up in the air. Further, if the ground isn’t level, you could more easily tip the trampoline.
You also want to make sure you are three feet from any structures and have at least 20 feet of clearance above your head.