We have compiled a list of rules that will greatly help to use your trampoline safely.
1.) Make sure you have a suitable area for the trampoline
It is vital that before you purchase a trampoline you have a good look at the area you intend for it to live in your garden.
It needs to be on a level surface, ideally grass but softer areas such as play bark are also acceptable. It is important you don't place the trampoline on a concrete or asphalt area as this could bow the trampoline's frame.
You also need to allow for adequate clearance. A foot to a foot and a half around the trampoline is essential as it allows the user to get on and off the trampoline safely and also gives room for if they stumble and lean on the net causing it to bulge out.
2.) Buy a high quality trampoline
Buying a trampoline is an important decision you should give some consideration to as higher quality models offer better safety features.
You should look for at least 21mm thick surround pads which protect the user from coming into contact with the springs or frame, if they are thicker even better.
Another important feature is the enclosure and you should look for one with thick poles and a robust design. You can then decide if you would prefer the net to clip onto the inside of the pads or the outside.
Cheap and nasty trampolines with short warranties are more likely to result in manufacturing defects as they are produced at a lower cost. There are great trampolines available on any budget so make sure you make safety your first priority when buying.
3.) Take care in the area around the trampoline
It is important when getting on and off the trampoline to take care. It is not a good idea for children to jump on and off the trampoline but rather to carefully climb on, ideally with help from an adult.
Another way to safely access the trampoline mat is with a ladder. This provides three steps for the children to climb on and off. It also encourages children to be more careful and therefore safer.
It is also important that the area around the trampoline is kept clear from toys, shoes and other obstructive objects.
4.) Only allow one person on the trampoline
The vast majority of trampoline accidents happen when there is more than one person bouncing. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) states that 75% of accidents happen in these circumstances. This is because if you have multiple people on the mat they could risk bumping into each other or if you are on a round trampoline disrupting their bounce.
What you do with a trampoline in your own home is up to you, but for the purposes of safety it would be best to only allow one person on the bounce mat.
5.) Don't try advanced moves without the correct supervision!
Another common way in which people can injure themselves is by trying gymnastics moves such as back flips. Even professional athletes practise and compete with a trained spot nearby in case they need assistance. If the children do trampolining as a hobby then it is best that they practise some of the more complicated moves at their trampoline club with a trained assistant.
6.) Don't drink and bounce!
This one is more for the parents and teenage siblings of the children! Though it may seem like a very appealing idea to hop on the trampoline after you have been down the pub for a drink or two, keep in mind that alcohol increases your reaction time and affects your balance. Adding a trampoline into the equation is likely to end in injury and is best to be avoided!
Safety doesn't have to spoil the fun of owning a trampoline and applying the simple rules listed above will go a long way to reducing the chances of accidents.