Guidelines to Increased Trampoline Safety
In order for us to stay healthy we need to take care of our bodies. This includes having healthy eating habits, getting lots of rest, and physical activity. If our bodies are fit and work well, we feel good.
Participating in sports is an excellent way for children to acquire fitness and stay fit; however, there are other added bonuses to physical activity. Research has shown that children who participate in sports do better in school. Exercise improves learning, memory, and concentration. Other reasons for playing sports are: it improves goal-setting skills, boosts self-confidence, and reduces stress.
Every action sport has the possibility of accident and injury, but do we cease to play sports due to the risks involved? In both studies bicycling is listed as one of the top two dangerous sports. Should we thus refuse to let our children ride bicycles, or do we use necessary precautions to prevent injuries. The following is a link to an August 22, 2007, article in the National Post entitled “Trampoline Truths”
In our over 20 years of selling trampolines we have been told by our customers that the purchase of a trampoline has been the best investment they have ever made for their children. The children spend hours bouncing on their trampoline and far less time playing games on the family computer or in front of the television. In fact, many of the parents enjoy trampolining as well.
Trampolining can be a lot of fun if the trampoline is used properly. We are offering the following list of precautions and guidelines so that trampoline accidents can be reduced, even eliminated. The following are a number of suggestions to help you enjoy your trampoline and reduce the risk of injury:
- We recommend no more than one person at a time on your trampoline, this eliminates the risk of collisions and reduces the risk of loss of control, falling off the trampoline, and landing improperly on the trampoline.
- Learn the basic skills, including the ability to control your jumps before attempting more difficult maneuvers. Never attempt maneuvers that are beyond your skill level. Learn to stop your bounce first.
- We recommend that you do not do any flips or somersaults on your backyard trampoline. Flips and somersaults increase the risk of landing on your head or neck, which could result in a head or neck injury.
- Pushing, play fighting, and shoving must never be permitted on the trampoline.
- Do NOT jump from anything higher than the trampoline onto the mat.
- Never jump when there are people, pets or other objects under your trampoline.
- Never jump on the frame pads. Remember to jump in the centre of the mat.
- Never dismount from the trampoline by jumping from the mat to the ground. Doing so endangers both you and others standing nearby.
- Do not pull yourself up by pulling on the frame pad. Smaller children may need assistance to get on and off the trampoline.
- Do not use a hard object beside the trampoline for mounting or dismounting.
- Never jump on your trampoline after consuming alcohol or drugs. Fatigue also increases risk of injury.
- Never jump on your trampoline after dusk.
- It is imperative that trampolines have frame pads to cover the springs. Make sure frame pads are properly fastened on the frame and cover the springs entirely, including the stitching on the mat, thus preventing any exposure to the springs.
- The springs of the trampoline must face downward.
- Make sure you have proper clearance on all sides and overhead. A minimum of 24 ft overhead clearance and 10 feet on the sides (3 feet with an enclosure) is recommended. Make sure the trampoline is on a level surface.
- Inspect your trampoline regularly to make sure there are no missing or stretched springs, no tears in the mat, and that the frame pad is properly fastened. It is also imperative that the welding on the frame be inspected to make sure there are no cracks. Cracks in the welding can result in serious injury.
- Department store style trampolines should not be re-welded, as the welding process will weaken the already thin metal causing it to become brittle and increase the risk of breakage.
- Shoes must not be worn on the trampoline at any time. Watch for zippers or other sharp objects in pockets. Long hair should be tied back. Loose jewelry and hair barrettes can also cause injury.