Family Magazine

Trampoline Fun Made Safe

By Periscope @periscopepost
Trampoline Fun made Safe Stay safe when using a trampoline

The topic of trampoline safety, or lack thereof, has reared its controversial head again and is being debated here, there and everywhere. Whether through scare tactics or totally horrifying statistics, the disadvantage of domestic trampoline use seems frequently to be the most highlighted half of the debate.

According to the BBC, Dr Newton – a casualty consultant from Western-super-Mare – believes children below the age of five should not be allowed on trampolines at all, and recent statistics from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission show over 95,000 Americans (kids, as well as adults) found themselves at the emergency room following trampoline related incidents. To add to this terrifying statistic, the IAE (Irish Association for Emergency) compiled international evidence to show us that serious injuries have increased two-fold in the past ten years.

If we properly consider the significant rise in trampoline purchases and domestic use of these ‘threatening creatures’, though, the heightened number of injuries makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s all relative, surely. Dr John Heyworth of the College of Medicine said the numbers of trampolines ‘exploded’ in recent years and the numbers of injuries from the UK are rising – well yes, as with any recreational toy or activity, if the number of people taking part in such activities are rising, naturally the injuries do, too.

When we question these various Associations and their statistics or opinions, we often don’t meet them with enough of a counter position, though. We need to consider the wide range of ways that injuries and dangers can be massively prevented – and most of these ways are related to the jumper’s behavior.

David Walker, an officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, believes that, when used safely, trampolines are not dangerous.

Of course, trampolines can potentially create more physical dangers than many other toys, but this is not an inherent feature within the trampolines themselves, it is about the way they are treated. David Walker, an officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents believes that trampolines are not dangerous, “it is a behavioural thing”. It is our attitude towards the trampoline phenomenon and our behavior on the trampolines that can seal our fate.

There’s no reason for us to go to all lengths to stop children from having fun with their cherished trampoline, we just need to advise them on how to be safe while jumping. If we treated them with a little bit of respect, trampolines would seem less like evil harm-inducing monsters and more like incredibly fun pieces of equipment.

So, here are some useful and simple steps to follow to ensure your children get all the fun they need from their trampoline while being safe in the process.

(1) Do your research before you purchase; take notice of other customer’s reviews and opinions on forums and discussion threads, this is invaluable and unbiased. Measure the space in your garden in which you’d like the trampoline to be placed, then add a 1.5m space around the circumference, making sure there are no fences or trees nearby.

(2) Always use an enclosure. Of the 130 children at the Kingston Hospital treated for trampoline injuries, more than half did not use a safety enclosure. An enclosure prevents the child from falling over the edge and makes the child more aware of the jumping space.

(3) Trampoline padding is incredibly important; a thick and solid foam set of pads shields the child from the springs and workings on the trampoline frame. Check the pads regularly for any misshaping or tears and replace them accordingly.

(4) Kids are energetic and sometimes over-enthusiastic which can lead to attempts of daring tricks and stunts; jumpers should be sensible and play with caution while being supervised by an adult at all times.

Trampolines can be so much fun – we just need to know how to use them. All manufacturers include safety instructions with each trampoline purchase, and if these are followed, the medical associations and institutes of health can rest assured we’re all doing our bit to ensure the safety of our children, and the thousands of parents deciding whether to take the plunge and buy a trampoline or not can feel at ease knowing that their help and support can keep their children from harm.

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