Trampolines may be a fantastic way for kids to have fun, exercise, and improve coordination, but they are also a major source of accidents.
According to our findings, the majority of the tested kid’s trampolines did not fulfil the Australian safety requirement. Here’s how to pick a decent one and use it securely.
How to choose a safe trampoline
- The metal frame and springs should be cushioned to prevent damage if a kid falls and hits them.
- The safety pads should be a different colour than the trampoline mat – this helps to indicate the boundary of the mat more clearly.
- The trampoline should satisfy the current Australian trampoline standard AS 4989:2015, but there’s no easy way for the typical customer to determine unless they seek a declaration of conformance to the standard.
- Springless versions, such as those from Springfree and Vuly, feature a soft-edge design in which the bounce is provided by mechanisms such as fiberglass rods or steel leaf springs beneath the level of the jumping mat, eliminating the requirement for a cushioned edge found in classic spring models. Other springless varieties, such as the Kmart and Lifespan models in our most recent test, utilise broad rubber bands instead of metal springs, but are generally constructed similarly to a regular trampoline, thus padding over the rubber bands is required.
- Unfortunately, it has been discovered in trampoline evaluations throughout the years that, while most models include safety padding, not all of them can pass the safety testing.
- A netted cage helps prevent trampoline falls, and we highly advise you to only use trampolines that have one.
- It should not be hanged from unpadded rigid or stiff poles since this presents another harsh item that might endanger a kid.
- A ladder can be used to assist children in securely getting on and off a trampoline, but it should be removed while the trampoline is not in use and you are not supervising it.
- If a youngster cannot climb up there on their own, they may not be at the appropriate developmental stage to utilise a trampoline at all.
Instructions must be clear, thorough, and complete, with adequate language and illustrations. They should include instructions on how to construct the trampoline, maintain it, and use it safely like for any other toy.
Assembly and maintenance
First and foremost, do you have enough room for a trampoline?
It should be set up on a flat surface devoid of dangers like furniture, and the space around the trampoline should be coated in soft, impact-absorbing material.
Lawn, pine bark, wood chips, or sand are all suitable. There is too much chance of harm from falling onto a hard surface with pavement or concrete.
There should be two meters of space on all sides and five meters overhead.
Using a trampoline safely
Many trampolines have safety concerns, such as cushioning that isn’t robust enough, head entrapment hazards, and enclosures that can’t withstand hard usage, according to our assessments, but these hazards can frequently be avoided by using caution.
The main conclusion is that you should not rely on the trampoline to take all the safety measures for you. Play safely and make sure you do your part.
- Children should be supervised when utilising the trampoline. Young children, especially those under the age of six, should only use trampolines under constant supervision.
- A safety cage can help avoid falls, but there is no substitute for proper safety padding, a solid structure, or careful trampoline use.
- Even with an enclosure in place, children must play on the trampoline safely and under adult supervision.
- Allowing children to intentionally bounce against the netting is not a good idea.
- On the trampoline, one youngster at a time. When more than one youngster is using the trampoline, accidents are more likely to occur.
- Large trampolines are not advised for children under the age of six.
- Clear safety guidelines like one at a time, bare feet only, and no usage while wet are important boundaries to establish early on.
- Jump just in the centre of the trampoline and don’t jump off when you’re done playing.
- Teach your youngster to focus their gaze on the trampoline to regulate the bounce.
- If you have an older trampoline, consider having it updated with a current standard frame padding system. Alternatively, you may totally replace the old trampoline.
Are trampolines really that dangerous?
Trampolines are the second leading cause of hospital-treated accidents on playground equipment, after only monkey bars.
Infants aged five to nine are the most often wounded, but children under the age of five are also hurt at an alarming rate.
There’s a widespread belief that trampolines have always been and will always be dangerous – that kids get harmed and that’s simply the way it is. That’s not true.
Many activities and sports include some danger, and youngsters are quite adept at picking up scrapes and bumps as they play – it’s all part of the game.
However, there is no need to accept harmful products, especially when standards exist to define excellent, safe design and items that fulfil those criteria are available.
The Australian standard
The current Australian trampoline standard, AS 4989:2015, is only optional. As a result, while we expect manufacturers to strive to reach this standard, they are not compelled to do so by law.
Several manufacturers support the standard, and several even sit on the standards committee.
The standard provides performance testing for the padding or soft-edge system to verify that it would adequately protect a child’s head in the case of a fall or impact, as well as for instructions, labels, and safety warnings.
We firmly think that the Australian trampoline standard should be made mandatory. This will aid in the removal of the more hazardous and fragile trampolines from the market.
Exercising on a trampoline
Trampolines are a fantastic way to work out that is not only enjoyable but also beneficial.
According to NASA research from 1980, rebounding on a trampoline is a better and more effective technique to improve fitness as well as muscular and bone strength than running on a treadmill.
Trampolining works a variety of leg and core muscles while also developing coordination.
And because the mat absorbs some of the pressure each time you land from a bounce, the effect on your joints is relatively minimal, making it a better training choice for those with damaged knees than other kinds of exercise such as running.
Even yet, if you intend to utilise the trampoline for fitness, begin slowly and gradually work your way up to more intense workouts.
There are several video tutorials available online that demonstrate a variety of exercises to attempt, including squats, twists, single-leg bounces, jumping jacks, and others.
Attempting a backflip?
Learning to accomplish a backflip is one of the more popular tasks. This is a tough motion, and if you want to learn it, you should do so in stages: there are numerous instructions available to help you.
A word of caution: some manuals advocate having a partner to help and advise you, which is a wonderful idea, but we don’t recommend having them stay on the mat with you while you’re performing the movements. At that moment, they should stand outside the trampoline and observe to respect all the safety measures.
Insuring against trouble
If you or a family member gets badly hurt while using your trampoline, your health insurance coverage may kick in, especially if you require an ambulance or continuous care.
But what if the person wounded is a visitor?
What happens if high winds carry your trampoline onto your neighbours’ yard, causing injury or damage? (It might happen!)
How much do trampolines cost?
A standard circular trampoline, costs between $200 and $2000. The pricing is often in the $400–$700 range.
Price isn’t always an indicator of quality. Most trampolines fail one or more of our safety and durability tests, regardless of whether they are inexpensive or costly versions. Other low-cost trampolines are well-made, but they may have additional safety concerns, such as head entrapment dangers, whilst some higher-priced versions may fail structural durability testing.
Before buying check everything to assure your and your family’s safety!