There’s no doubt that having a trampoline will bring hours of family fun for everyone. But trampolining isn’t without its risks, and it doesn’t take much for fun to turn to tragedy. Here’s what you need to know before you bounce.
- Location – before you buy the biggest trampoline, look at the space you have. It is vital that your trampoline is at least three metres away from trees, poles or fences to prevent injury should play get rough and result in a breach of the safety net.
- Check the springs – the springs are what give you the bounce, but they can also give you very nasty abrasions and, if not properly fitted, they can let you down (literally). Before you bounce, check that all of the springs are properly in position and covered with a spring cover.
- Use a net. Bouncing without a net is like cycling without a helmet – it’s just not worth the risk. Reputable trampoline companies will sell trampolines with nets. Don’t be lured into buying a poor quality or second hand one without a net – it’s not worth the risk.
- Set the rules. Yes, rules can be boring, but they can also save lives. You will know your children better than anyone else, so it is down to you to tell them what they can, and can’t do. Make sure that they know to aim to jump in the centre of the trampoline, not to jump too high, and how to stop. Set limits on the number of people that can bounce at a time, depending on the size of your trampoline.
- Dress right. Trampolining is much safer if you wear the right things. Remove shoes, but make sure that all bouncers are wearing socks. Ban drawstrings on the trampoline and make sure everyone (adults and children alike) knows to remove jewellery before they bounce.
- Stay alert. When done properly, trampolining is safe, healthy fun. However, accidents CAN happen and the best way to avoid them is to ensure that children under 12 are supervised by an adult or responsible older child. This can be on or off the trampoline, but don’t turn your back or get distracted – it only takes a second for a child to get into trouble!
With a host of rules and safety instructions, it can be easy to think that trampolining isn’t such a good idea after all. However, if you invest in a good quality trampoline and understand the risks, you and your family are guaranteed to get hours and hours of enjoyment for many years to come. Just choose your trampoline wisely and bounce safely, and everyone will be happy!