trampoline safety advice
Have you ever noticed how much children love to bounce? It's no surprise then that they get pure delight from jumping on a trampoline and can normally bounce all afternoon. It's essential, if you're planning to buy a trampoline for your child, to make sure it and surrounding areas are safe for your child to play.
Trampolines are great for your little ones fitness, coordination and balance and you may have noticed more and more trampolines popping up in gardens around the UK. Sadly we're not all lucky enough to have huge gardens ??smaller gardens may not be able to take the size of a bigger trampoline, however for toddlers wanting to get in on the 'trampoline action', there is the ELC junior trampoline suitable for children aged 12 months plus. When it comes to the bigger trampolines from great brands like Plum, then there are some safety issues to consider.
The key safety issue to consider is that approximately 75% of injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline, with the person weighing less being five times more likely to be injured. It's also important to take note that children under six years old are particularly vulnerable to injury. Injuries can occur to all parts of the body, including the neck, arms, legs, face and head, with head and neck injuries reported as being most likely. Don't think that just because you are supervising your little one, that they are less likely to suffer an injury. More than half of all trampoline accidents occur whilst under supervision so keep vigilant the whole time.
Read on for some simple safety advice for parents and children when using a trampoline
Advice for parents
- Buy safety pads, or ensure that the model comes with safety pads that completely cover the springs, hooks and the frame. The pad should be a contrasting colour to the mat, so that your children can identify the difference between 'bouncing area' and springs.
- Consider models that have safety netting as part of the design like the Plum 12ft Family Trampoline and 3G Enclosure, or purchase a safety surround when you buy the trampoline. This will reduce the chance of your child falling off the trampoline.
- All trampolines manufactured from 2001 should meet BS EN 13219:2001 Trampolines.
- Lots of trampolines are sold with a safety netting around them, which is ideal for younger inexperienced trampoline users.
Choose a clear area, which is free from hazards such as trees, fences, washing lines, poles or other equipment. This should also include bikes, skateboards and other toys that could be a hazard. Ideally there should be a safe fall zone completely around the trampoline of at least 2.5 metres.
- Place the trampoline on soft energy absorbing ground (i.e. soft and springy lawn or bark wood chip, sand or cushioning materials).
- Never place the trampoline on a hard surface (i.e. concrete, hard packed mud) without some form of crash matting or safety netting.
Before using the trampoline
- It's a good idea to set some rules for using the trampoline and discuss them with your children
- Explain the risks of not using the trampoline properly, so they know how to play safely
- Make sure your little ones remove any jewellery, necklaces or clothing that may catch.
- Inspect the trampoline before each use to make sure there are no holes or the frame has not become damaged. Also check the padding is correctly and securely positioned and the leg braces are locked.
Using the trampoline
- You should avoid having more than one person on the trampoline at the same time
- Be extra vigilant with any children under six years old who may want to follow their older siblings
- Always supervise children when they are using the trampoline
- Bouncing to exit the trampoline is not advised as it could lead to injuries
Please refer to R.O.S.P.A, (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), for further information.