Outdoor trampolines are a fun addition to any backyard, providing opportunities for exercise and play for nearly all ages. However, trampolines can come with some risks. To ensure safety for all trampoline users, consider the following tips.
One of the first lines of safety for trampoline users is achieved by confirming that the equipment is always in good repair. Inspect all elements of the trampoline regularly to check for tears, damage, rust or disconnected parts. Be prepared to restore or replace parts as they begin to show signs of wear. Trampoline replacement mats, springs and nets are all available and should be replaced as needed.
Improperly used trampolines cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year, especially among children. To maximize the safety of your trampoline, always use a properly installed net to prevent falls. Ensure that safety pads cover all metal springs, hooks and frame poles. Consider surrounding the trampoline with a soft surface like woodchips or rubber playground surfacing, which may help absorb impact from a fall. Installing the trampoline over a pit rather than above ground may also help minimize injuries from a fall.
Just as with any other outdoor play equipment, trampolines are subject to wear and tear from the elements. UV light from the sun can cause some of the materials to become brittle and break down over time. To protect the trampoline from sun damage, consider installing a shade cover over the top of the netting, or a general weather protective cover that can be pulled over the mat when not in use. Impact from hail or weight from snowfall can also affect the trampoline’s condition. Durable, waterproof weather covers can help prevent this kind of damage, but users in areas with heavy snow or hail should consider disassembling their trampolines during winter, or at least relocating them to an area out of the elements.
To ensure safety of trampoline users, be sure to closely supervise all children using trampolines. Ensure the trampoline is used in a well-lit area and occupied by only one person at a time. Note that children under 6 years of age should not use a full-size trampoline.
With proper care, protection, attention to safety features and appropriate use, trampolines can be a great recreational activity. Although it may take a bit of extra investment, users will be rewarded with ample fun and joy for many years to come.