Trampoline safety tips

Trampolines can provide years of fun and exercise for the whole family. However, whether you are using a trampoline, a bike, dumbbells or any other equipment, you need to follow some safety guidelines so that no one is injured.

Look for safety features

When shopping, look for a trampoline and enclosures. A trampoline safety enclosure net is essential; however, if it's not well constructed it won't provide the protection you're counting on. The trampoline enclosure net needs to be strong. Check the thickness. The trampoline enclosure needs to be able to help support someone who's lost his or her balance; thin trampoline enclosures don't offer enough support. Make sure there is padding that covers the frame, hooks and springs. When you take a tumble, the softer the landing surface the better. Look for a frame with galvanized steel. It won't rust or weaken. The trampoline with galvanized steel may cost a bit more, but it'll last longer. You'll recoup your money and have peace of mind about safety, which is priceless. Make sure you understand and follow the assembly instructions. If it's not put together properly, all the safety features will be for naught.

Location, location, location

When choosing a location, look down. The trampoline needs to be on a flat surface. If you place it on an uneven spot in the yard, it's very likely to become unbalanced and tip over. You also want to put the trampoline on the ground where water does not pool regularly. Parts of the trampoline could sink, leaving it unbalanced. Avoid setting one up on a hard surface, such as a driveway or basketball court. The trampoline should not slide around when people are using it.

Look up, and scout the area for obstructions such as electrical wires, building overhangs and trees. When jumping, someone could come in contact with an obstruction and suffer an injury. Look down again. Within a 15-foot radius, look for rocks, tree roots and other obstacles that people could land on if they fall. What about light? If it's in use after sundown, you need to have a light source so that jumpers can see what they're doing

Supervision is crucial

Though it may not sound like fun, a hard and fast set of rules should be in place before anyone climbs up to give your new trampoline a try. Before you head out to buy it, you could even print out a list of rules and make sure your children (and any other frequent users) know them. You may get groans and eye rolls, but it's much easier to get everyone's attention now than once the trampoline is already up and ready to go.

Begin by putting the trampoline where adults can easily supervise those who use it, and make it a rule that it cannot be used if an adult is not around. Make sure everyone knows that only one person at a time may use the trampoline. Most injuries occur when several people are jumping at the same time and they collide. All users also need to remove anything loose that could catch on a trampoline part and cause injury, such as a watch, necklace, bracelet, etc. And make sure everyone knows to bounce in the middle of the trampoline and knows their limits. Don't let anyone attempt somersaults or other gymnastic moves unless they have the physical ability to do so.

Trampolines provide years of fun and exercise. If you choose a trampoline with enclosure, and follow some safety guidelines when setting it up and using it, you can have all that fun without the danger.


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