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Warm, summer days encourage activity, so it is usually better to provide children with outdoor entertainment than to let them sit in front of the TV or computer. Trampolines have been a big attraction for kids and parents due to providing children an outlet to have healthy fun. As these devices allow children to jump high in the air with metal bars surrounding the trampoline, many parents ask themselves if a trampoline is a safe activity. Below you will find tips regarding trampoline safety for your kids and how you can prepare for safe trampoline fun.
The Advantages of Trampolines for Kids
Jumping on a trampoline is a great aerobic exercise, whether the trampoline is of the mini-trampoline or the large variety. For children, jumping on a trampoline is a great way to get active by burning more calories, strengthening circulation, improving respiratory efficiency and immunity. Jumping on a trampoline exercises the muscles of the legs, abdomen and hands, in addition to improving the coordination of movement and balance. Jumping on a trampoline is great fun, relaxing and elicits lots of laughter for children.
The health benefits of trampolining are many and wide-ranging. First, coordination is improved as the brain constantly assesses the position of the body in space and calculates how best to land. Second, many muscle groups are trained, but at the same time the joints and the skeleton do not experience the load that accompanies many other sports – for example, jogging or strength training. Jumping on a trampoline is also an excellent low-impact exercise for those who are prohibited from engaging in more intense exercise. Finally, serotonin is released as jumping activities are taking place. Some refer to serotonin as the “hormone of happiness”. This generally causes a better mood, happy disposition, and a positive effect on one’s overall well-being.
If you’re interested, take a look at the SkyBound Stratos trampoline for a review of one of the better trampolines available for healthy fun.
The Dangers of Trampolines for Kids
Although trampolines can be seen as dangerous, riding a bike, running in the yard, or even a simple game of tag can often cause injuries in a similar manner to trampolines. A child (or adult!) jumping on a trampoline can often misjudge distances or launch themselves in direction that are not originally intended. This can cause the jumper to land in places that were never intended to be landed on. Furthermore, trampolines are prone to misuse due to their bouncy nature. Specific rules must be in place to ensure misuse does not cause injury. Too many people on the trampoline at one time, jumping from structures (like the roof of a house), and other forms of misuse are common culprits in causing injuries. Fortunately, there are precautions we can take to ensure no one is hurt while jumping.
The most important rule to follow when using a trampoline is to follow the guidelines provided by the trampoline’s manufacturer, specifically, the number of users simultaneously jumping. Large trampolines are usually made to accommodate more than one jumper at the same time. As long as the proper safety precautions are observed, this should be fine. What would be even better though, would be only allowing one user on the trampoline at a time while the next jumper is waiting off of the trampoline for their turn to jump. As collisions are one of the leading causes of injuries among children on trampolines, this could greatly reduce the chance of injury and promote trampoline safety for kids.
Performing tricks are also a common cause of injuries. For example, knighting or jumping onto the trampoline from the roof of a house is a sure way for injuries to occur. The degree of springiness of the mat, the height of the protective net, and other structural features are designed for standard loads that are determined by the maximum possible jumps under normal conditions. Jumping from the roof exceeds the recommended usage in almost every instance, which can cause a user to fly out of the trampoline.
Tricks are often cause for concern. While it is fun to do flips, double-bounces, or any number of other tricks, they can often be dangerous. A simple forward flip can cause head or neck injury in children. While the same can be said of those activities in many other instances, they are a prime activity that leads to injury. For technical reasons, risk of injury can be mitigated by ensuring the trampoline is stable, made of solid materials, and is manufactured in compliance with all safety standards. Well-made trampolines are often more expensive, but their increase safety decreases the chance of harm and a large doctor’s bill. If you’re interested, take a look at the AlleyOOP VariableBounce to see an example of a high-quality trampoline dedicated to safety.
How to Use a Trampoline Safely
Manufacturers provide recommended guideline and details on how to use their device safely. For example, many trampolines suggest they are not suitable for children under three years of age. Young children cannot control their movements well enough which could lead to a higher risk of falling and/or injuries. It is recommended to always follow the manufacturers instruction to ensure your children have the safest experience.
General Tips – Precautions
One of the first things to do to ensure safe jumping is to perform a preliminary check of the trampoline’s structural integrity. This is especially true in cases such as Winter has recently ended, and Spring activities are beginning. Sitting up (even protected from the elements) can cause the springs, mat, or structural support to shift or loosen. Ensure the springs are securely attached to the mat. If there is a safety enclosure, you should also make sure that it is fastened tightly. Additionally, the base structure should be verified to be solid. These checks can go very fast and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, provided there are no problems found. Checking these integral components before jumping is one very important precaution everyone should take for trampoline safety. Also make sure that the ground on which it stands is even and not too hard. it is best to put it on the grass, away from trees and buildings. Every now and then, check that the device is stable, because under the influence of vibration, the fasteners can relax.
The space under the trampoline should always be free of debris or objects. Make sure that there are no foreign objects lying there. If your children have friends over to jump, explain to them the basic safety rules when jumping on a trampoline. Children should repeat this information before each session of jumping. Finally, take off all loose accessories such as jewelery, watches, and garments that hinder movement. Make sure the children do the same.
General Tips – Jumping
One of the easiest ways to ensure injury risk is reduced at all times is to limit the number of users that are on a trampoline at the same time. While following the manufacturers guidelines in the number of possible simultaneous users, the safest method is to limit the number of jumpers to one. Additionally, children should not jump off of the trampoline to dismount. Stairs or crawling off is the safest method of dismounting from the device.
While jumping on the trampoline, children should be careful not to overexert themselves. Ensure you are monitoring the children while jumping, especially on hot, summer days. Heat exhaustion is a concern during these conditions. Short jumping sessions are preferable to extended periods of activity. After entering the trampoline, be sure to tightly close the mesh inlet. Safety nets are spectacular for promoting safety. The entryway can sometimes cause problems if not properly closed on the safety net.
If you have reviewed the options and want to maximize safety, take a look at this article and learn how to bury your trampoline in the ground. This is a great way to reduce the risk of injury!
What to Look for When Buying
Safety Net – when buying a trampoline, pay attention to whether it has a safety net. Safety nets are one of the best safety devices you can buy for a trampoline. These mesh nets ensure children will not fall off the trampoline, and the impact with the soft material covered with a post will not cause injury. Always watch to close the net when your child enters the trampoline.
Springs – should be shielded and located outside the protective net so that the child does not have the possibility of tangling legs when jumping. Padding can be purchased if it does not come with that model. Landing on metal springs can be painful and cause injury. Spring padding is great at reducing spring injury risk.
Size – if you buy it for more than one child, it is better that its diameter is large. Then there is less risk that children will fall into each other. While it is advisable to only allow one user at a time, it is often the case that there will be numerous jumpers. Large trampolines come in a variety of sizes. Some of the most common sizes are 12’, 14’, and 16’. Find out which ones we think are the best trampoline value buys for the money.
Certificate – if you are unsure if your chosen equipment is safe, check if it has an ISO or GS quality certificate.
A trampoline, like any toy can be a great activity for a child, but it can also be dangerous if misused. It all depends on how you use it, so remember about the basic principles of choosing the right device and how best to protect your child against the possibility of injury. Do not leave children alone, because the children are unpredictable and have different ideas, so it’s better to keep an eye on them.