Trampolines are becoming a common accessory in the backyards, but don't overlook the important aspect of trampoline safety. In fact, many public parks too install trampolines these days. They are fun to jump on and a great way to loosen up. However, trampoline related injuries are a reality too, and these can be lifelong. Not just health professionals but governments too have laid down rules regarding trampoline usage. The following write-up deals with safety tips while using trampolines because things can seriously go wrong with your trampoline.
Statistically speaking, over 79% of injuries in children are related to a trampoline. Most trampoline injuries have occurred between the age group of 4-24 years. These numbers suggest that not just young children and teens, but adults are equally susceptible to trampoline injuries. In Australia itself, about 1 in every 6 children suffer from injuries caused by trampolines. Over 500 children between the years 2012-2017 were rushed to the emergency due to injuries caused by trampolines. In the United States of America, over 92% of injuries are from the age group from 4-24 years.
What is a Trampoline?
A trampoline is a recreational device. It has a circular steel frame consisting of a strong and tight fabric. This fabric is pulled and stretched around the steel frame using coiled springs. Some trampolines are Springfree and use glass reinforced plastic rods.
Mainly used as a fun activity, a trampoline is an amazing fitness device, and many gyms install it as well. Yes, a trampoline can be a great way to stay fit and active, especially for adults.
Who Can Use Trampolines?
A trampoline is an attractive and exciting device in the backyard. Toddlers can insist on using it too. But as a thumb rule, never allow toddlers on a trampoline. They are too young for it. Kids between the ages of 5-10 years can use a trampoline under adult supervision. Their bones are soft and can break easily, hence the need to have an adult around. For teens and adults, a trampoline is good to use provided they take proper care and caution.
Tips on Trampoline Safety
A trampoline induced fun can turn into a nightmare if correct safety measures aren't adopted. Some serious health injuries caused by trampolines can be lifelong and can potentially ruin your life. As discussed above, trampoline related injuries can be several. Therefore, the need to adopt trampoline safety measures. The following tips will come in handy if you plan to keep a trampoline-
- First off, consult your family doctor, especially a pediatrician. If your child already suffers from a medical condition, there is no harm in getting an expert opinion from a health professional.
- Before you install a trampoline, ensure the surface is absolutely flat. Avoid placing it on concrete. Go for a grassy area that doesn't have too many obstacles around.
- By obstacles, we mean to make sure the area around the trampoline doesn't have huge trees, fences, clotheslines. garden furniture or other huge structures. If anyone were to fall on these anytime, imagine the harm it can cause them.
- A useful tip to trampoline safety is to make sure that the trampoline is not easily accessible to toddlers or young children. If you can, cordon off the area to limit accessibility.
- It's a good idea to conceal the frame, hooks, and springs of a trampoline by padding them. The trampoline does have some padding but that may not be enough. By adding some more padding you can reduce the risk of broken bones. Also, ensure the padding is in color contrast to the mat.
- Another trampoline safety measure can be to net the trampoline. Add a safety net around the trampoline. This will reduce the chances of falling off from the trampoline.
- It is advised to cover about 2 meters of the area around the trampoline with soft material like woodchips, pine bark, or sand.
- Since a trampoline is outside in the backyard or in an open space. Ensure that you clear off any debris, water, or leaves on the trampoline before every use. Also, before each use look for any tears in the fabric or holes in the net. Check for any cracks in the frame of the trampoline even if you are using one at the park or the gym. Basically, regularly maintain your trampoline.
- If you have a trampoline at home regularly check for any damages in the frame, net, and padding of the trampoline. Repair or replace any of the broken or damaged parts immediately.
- Do not use the trampoline if the padding has come off or the springs are broken or, even if there is the slightest rip in the mat.
- A good idea is, to frequently check underneath the trampoline. Clear off anything you see that may pose a danger when the trampoline is in use.
- Remember to wrap up the trampoline once you are done using it. Zip up the net or remove any ladder so that children know they can't use it anymore.
- Always jump in the middle of a trampoline. Never on the edge. Do bear caution while getting on and off the trampoline.
- As an adult, never let your child jump on the trampoline unsupervised. Always keep an eye on your children when they are on the trampoline.
- Be clear to allow only one person on the trampoline at a time. If you are in the park, wait for your turn. Two or more people on a trampoline can lead to midair collisions.
- Never jump high. If you really want to jump high, then be in control of your body momentum.
- As a thumb rule, do not allow children below the age of 6 years to use the trampoline anywhere, no matter how much they ask for it. Do not give in to their tantrums. At this young age, their bones are brittle. They can break easily thanks to a bad landing.
- Do not allow children, especially teens, to perform any kind of stunts on the trampoline. Advise them not to do any somersaults or flips while they are on the trampoline. These rules will go a long way in your trampoline safety.
- Also, do not let children jump too high. When they want to get off the trampoline, insist on them to stop jumping first. Ask them to walk on the edge, sit and cool down then get off the trampoline.
- Before you use a trampoline anywhere, it is wise to remove hats, jewelry and empty your pockets. Hats can fall off to create an obstruction. Jewelry might potentially harm you while jumping. Things falling from your pocket can hinder with your landing.
- It's important to be barefoot while jumping on the trampoline. Remove your shoes and socks before using the trampoline.
- Do bear in mind that the padding around the trampoline should not be too high. This can pose a potential hazard. This point is very important for trampoline safety.
- Every trampoline is designed to hold maximum weight, size, and jump height limits. Read the instructions carefully before using the trampoline and stick to them.
- While using the trampoline in the park, read the instructions before using it or letting children use it.
- If you or the children want to jump on the foam area, ensure that the foam has not moved from its place.
Injuries caused by Trampolines
A trampoline can cause injuries to your head, neck, arms, and legs. In addition, spinal injuries, broken bones, sprains, twisting, pinching, cuts, etc. are common injuries. Following is the list of possible trampoline related injuries-
- While jumping burns can happen. That means when the skin constantly rubs against the mesh it can cause swelling, pain, and redness of the skin.
- Cervical spine injuries can happen if one tries to perform stunts on the trampoline.
- Toddlers can crush under someone else's weight.
- If two people are jumping on the trampoline together, their arms and legs can get entangled causing serious injuries. Arm fractures and sprains are some of the most common trampoline related injuries.
- Serious injuries and dislocation can happen when a person hits the sides of a trampoline.
- A midair collision between two or more people can cause their bones to break.
- At times a mistimed landing can lead to broken bones. One wrong landing on the trampoline can break your leg.
- Flips or somersaults on the trampoline can break your neck. Neck sprains or acute spinal cord injury can result in serious medical conditions like paralysis.
- There is a risk of serious brain injuries as well. Concussion, brain damage, intracranial injury, or traumatic brain injury are caused when more than two people jump on the trampoline and collide midair. These injuries can be life threatening.
- Falling off the trampoline or hitting the frame or springs can cause serious injuries and trauma.
- The physical bodies of the children are still growing. If their bones fracture it can lead to stunted growth in them.
These injuries are a reality. Supervision and being attentive when a trampoline is in use can go a long way in ensuring the safety of our loved ones.
Trampolines are attractive, no doubt. They are a great way to keep the kids busy. Even adults can enjoy a great workout session on it. However, a trampoline requires supervision and apt safety measures. Trampoline safety can save lives and any potential lawsuits.