Children and Trampolines

Here are some tips to help your child avoid injury when using a trampoline.

Trampoline Construction

Most trampolines are built the same. There is a durable fabric that is stretched over a frame. To allow for bouncing, the fabric is attached to an outer metal ring by metal springs. It is usually in those spaces between the fabric and the metal frame where injuries occur.

When purchasing a trampoline, be sure that it is well-constructed and complies with all safety regulations set down by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Even with adult supervision, this commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics believe that trampolines need to be regulated better. This means going back to added safety measures taken by the manufacturer to ensure that their product will result in as few injuries as possible.

Using a Trampoline

One guideline that should be followed all the time is that supervision is a must. Even on small trampolines that adults use for exercise, children can injure their heads, spine and break limbs all according to the way that they fall.

Many injuries occur because a child misses the center of the mat and hits the springs. Landing on them can break the neck. Hitting the frame can result in head injuries. Legs or arms caught in between the frame can lead to broken or severed limbs.

When we are having fun, we sometimes lack proper judgment. Trying to do somersaults can lead to neck injuries if you land on your head. Jumping on a trampoline made for one with two people, or not paying attention with multiple users, can result in accidents from running into another person.

To keep your child safe, use some of the following tips:

* Maintain your trampoline – Remove and replace rusty springs. If the mat fabric is damaged, replace it.

* Set up on level ground – If you are using a trampoline in your yard, be sure that the ground where it is placed is level. Uneven ground can cause it to tip and injure someone.

* One person uses it at a time – This avoids collisions. Children can take turns and still have fun.

* Cover springs with cushioning pad – When the springs are covered there is no chance for body parts to slip between them.

* Safety netting – Surrounding the trampoline with strong safety netting prevents kids from falling off of the trampoline onto hard surfaces.

* Set down ground rules for use – Prohibit jumping onto the trampoline with spring boards, no jumping off, no small children and no ladders that can be used by younger kids.

Whether you use a trampoline for exercise or fun, ensure it is safe for all members of the family.