Trampoline safety has always been a concern for many, and teens like most of us adore making use of one. I have to admit that I’m a sucker for trampolines.
I am also very aware of the dangers that come with it. I look at it like owning a car. You must maintain it and use it responsibly to prevent accidents. In life in general we need to have fun with a degree of responsibility. We know where we should draw the line and apply it for safety’s sake. This is what we should teach our young ones.
Needless to say that despite the obvious risk people are still purchasing trampoline and it’s mostly for the fun they get out of it. Others relate it to fitness. This is why I think that we should pay close attention to the safety rules.
The question remains:
Are trampolines safe? Especially for our teens.
Let’s get this straight right from the start. In my opinion, no trampoline is really safe. Yes, improvements are being made to the physical equipment to make them less risky but still, they all need to be used with caution. Some age and health conditions are not even allowed on trampolines.
Using a trampoline is considered a high risk of injury activity due to the jumping up and down. So it is fair to say that the way we make use of one has a lot to say of whether it is safe or not.
For anyone who owns a trampoline or plans of gifting one in whichever form, big or small, should be familiar with its safety rules.
For the person using the trampoline.
The 1 person at a time rule
This is for the obvious reason of avoiding a collision. Collisions can cause serious injuries such as banging of heads or being thrown off the trampoline. Multiple people at one go on a trampoline are asking for trouble.
In the case of a mini trampoline it is plain to see that there is limited space on one and is specifically indicated to be used by a single person at a time.
Stunts or overconfident activities are usually the results of so many trampoline injuries ranging from minor to severe. This is why it is a no-no to children.
Teenagers may recklessly want to show off or just want to prove to themselves what they can achieve. In the hope of having more fun, they can easily end up being disabled.
Check medical conditions (chronic disease or recent injury)
When considering a trampoline for fitness or simply for fun we may need to consider if it will cause more harm than good. For example, if your child was recently involved in an accident or has broken a limb before, it is wise to seek medical advice before allowing them on a trampoline.
Avoid socks and shoes
In increasing the safety use we should avoid all the means that evoke potential incidents. Socks are known to be slippery and should not be worn while jumping up and down on a trampoline. Shoelaces can present as a potential danger if they get caught on springs.
No loose items
Now we don’t want loose objects from pockets or hands falling on the bounce mat. Again these present as a good opportunity to get caught up in the springs or being tripped over while jumping.
Wear athletic clothing
Appropriate clothing reduces the risks of self-injuries. It certainly avoids the risk of getting tangled up in a wire or something.
Jump in the center and not along the edges
Jumping along the edges you are bound to jump on the frame or on the springs and hooks and increase the risk of an injury. Anyhow, a better bounce is known to be experienced in the center.
Don’t jump off a trampoline
Jumping directly off a trampoline is asking for a fracture or the very least a sprain with a bad landing. This is why it should never be done. Instead, wait until you have stopped bouncing, walk off to the edge and slide down.
In the case of a mini trampoline, just wait until you have stopped bouncing and walk off to the ground.
When tired do make your teen stop using the trampoline. Tiredness may lead to a greater risk of injury.
There are lots of instructions on posture on a trampoline and how to exercise on it. Familiarize yourself with at least the basic ones to help your teen prevent injuries in the long term. Even more so, on trampoline used for fitness such as the mini trampoline or rebounder.
Don’t eat nor drink while bouncing
This is for the simple reason that you may very well choke or very well hurt yourself with the recipient. Teens should be discouraged to do so.
- Let’s say that you are buying the trampoline for a teenager. Do keep in mind the other kids that you have in the same household and how this will affect them.
- Children 5 years and below are not allowed on trampolines. This can have a harmful effect on their fragile soft bones.
- Also, with younger kids around you will require total supervision.
- You will need to be extra careful with anything lying around which will enable them to get access to the trampoline.
Safety care for the trampoline
NB: The descriptions below lean more towards the traditional trampoline in mind with its steel frame, hooks, and springs.
Make sure that the trampoline has adequate shock-absorbing safety pads along the edges. That is along with the frame, hooks, and springs. This is so to limit the dangers that they represent, such as slipping and falling between the gaps. It will definitely reduce the impact if they happen to fall on it.
It is worthy to note that some models have the frame below the bounce mat to minimize the risk of getting hurt.
A quality one which you fasten securely when in use. Negligence to do so may lead to your teen bouncing or falling off the trampoline through the gap. It is a very good idea to include one on a trampoline. Make sure that the bars supporting the net are padded as well.
The trampoline should be properly put together in the first place to avoid serious consequences.
Set on even ground level
Whether using a large trampoline or a mini one, make sure that they are placed on an even surface for greater balance. Otherwise, your teen may get thrown off balance and get injured.
A clear area beneath and around the trampoline
Make sure that there is nothing under it. This may cause a hazard or obstruction as your teen jumps up and down on the trampoline.
Keep the area clear at all times by providing a clear safe fall zone around the outside of the trampoline.
Safety or crash mats all around
Find a safe place (sand, wood chips, or other cushioning effect material) to place the trampoline. Make sure that the ground is soft and not solid concrete. This will soften the impact in case there is a fall, especially from a considerable height.
Proper maintenance must be done regularly
Regular maintenance is a must. Make sure to inspect the trampoline big or small before use. If you happen to hear or notice something odd during a session pay attention to it and get it fixed as soon as possible.
Storing away is a must to avoid reckless or unsupervised use. Those trampolines which can be stored away should be done so, especially the mini-sized ones. This is to avoid unsupervised use. For the larger ones, ladders should be stored away as well.
- It is better to consider a round trampoline rather than a rectangular one. Rectangular ones tend to provide a dangerous high bounce.
- Make sure that the trampoline is made up of safe quality materials.
What to do if there is an injury
There are different degrees of injury.
- First and foremost ask them to stop jumping.
- Check injury and seek medical advice immediately.
- The minor ones can be treated at home and monitor. Such as scrapes and tiny cuts.
- Serious injuries need immediate action and should be taken to the medical center.
- If you are in doubt and you don’t know the extent of the injury, it is best to seek medical attention.
The bottom line
The fact remains that trampoline involves jumping up and down and this is a great factor that contributes to it being unsafe.
The best thing to do is to teach your teen to use common sense. Paint a clear picture of what showing off on a trampoline can lead to. Let them know that a trampoline is not a place to play rough, like shoving others off the trampoline.
The very best thing that we as parents can do is to keep a watchful eye on them no matter their age. As the saying goes “Accidents happens”.
If you happen to think that your teen will not comply with the rules, it is best to avoid this item altogether, for the rules play a big role in making the trampoline safer. It is best to increase the safety by a notch or two rather than bear a bad injury.
You will definitely need to assess the risks and difficulties you may face with your particular teen and your present environment. My advice is to make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of having a trampoline. Then you will be in a better decision to make a choice.
If you are in for fitness and fun then you should take all the responsibilities that come with it. If you choose otherwise, there are plenty of other alternatives for your teen to have fun safely.
Remember that all the precautions mentioned are aimed only to curb the impact of injuries when they happen.
Thank you for reading my article.
Feel free to add any other safety tips I have missed out in the comments below.