Backyard Trampoline Safety

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Trampoline safetyTrampolines are a great way for kids to burn off energy, but they can also be very dangerous when misused.   Knowing the options, and choosing the best model for your needs can greatly reduce the risk of injury.

Safety Equipment Is Essential

Backyard trampoline models come with safety equipment – most notably the net and the pads covering the springs.  All newer recreational models should come equipped with both.  Make sure they are properly installed before using the trampoline.   When used properly, these two features reduce two major risks associated with trampolines:  falling off the edge, and penetrating through the springs.  

Not all Trampolines are equal

There are many trampoline models available in the market today.   From basic models to more complex spring-free ones with built-in nets to in-ground installations, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $5,000 (not including installation) depending on your needs.   As a general rule, the higher the price, the safer the model.  Don’t sacrifice safety for savings. 

Lay Out Ground Rules

As crucial as the safety equipment is, the most important safety feature to consider is common sense.  Most back and neck injuries can be prevented by following simple ground rules for responsible bouncing:  

  • Children should always be supervised while bouncing on the trampoline
  • Only one person should be on the trampoline at a time
  • Prohibit flips and stunts 

Maintain Equipment Regularly

If you want to make sure that your trampoline is safe for use, it is best to maintain it regularly. Check the springs and change any worn-out or broken pieces.  Ensure that the frame is not broken or rusted.   Weather takes a toll, and while some more expensive models are rated for year-round use, most need to be dismantled and stored for winter months.  

Install Trampolines Properly

The location of the trampoline is a major factor that contributes to safety. You should make sure that the trampoline is not installed near structures or trees. Make sure that the area around the trampoline is even and safe, and always read all the manufacturers instructions and warnings prior to installation.  When in doubt, it’s best to let a professional install the trampoline - some of the more expensive models offer installation services.