Trampolining is a great from of cardiovascular fitness. 10 minutes of jumping is equivalent of a 30 minute run!
While it's no secret that trampolines are lots of fun and one of the most common backyard toys, many Australian children have been presented to emergency departments annually from traditional trampoline injuries. International research has shown the most common causes of trampoline injuries are as follows:
Fall off of trampoline: 52%
Fall onto the frame or springs: 31%
Hit another child on the trampoline: 17%
But there are ways to ways to enjoy the benefits of trampolining safely. Read and discuss the following safety rules with all members of the family and consider placing a laminated version of the kids rules in view of your trampoline.
Rules for adults
- If using a traditional trampoline, buy safety pads to completely cover the springs, hooks, and the frame. The pads should be a contrasting colour to the mat.
- Make sure that the surface under and around the trampoline (the safe fall zone) is soft. Use wood chips, sand or cushioning material. The safe fall zone should be at least 2 metres wide from the outside edge of the trampoline.
- Keep the safe fall zone clear from hazards such as fences, toys and overhead objects like clothes lines, trees and wires. A minimum overhead clearance of 8 metres from ground level is recommended.
- Make sure that children are supervised at all times.
- Inspect the trampoline before each use to make sure that the mat does not have holes, the frame is not bent, the springs are securely attached, the frame padding is correctly and securely positioned and the leg braces are securely locked. Replace any worn, defective or missing parts.
- All metal parts on the trampoline should be coated with a rust preventative paint.
Rules for Kids
- Don’t try risky stunts like somersaults and flips. It is asking for trouble!
- Bounce as close to the middle of the mat as you can.
- You could hurt yourself by jumping off the trampoline onto the ground. To get off, stop bouncing and then climb down.
- Keep away from the trampoline when someone else is using it. NEVER sit on the padding or go under the trampoline when someone else is jumping.
- Don’t use the trampoline if you see a rip or split in the mat, or if the padding has come off the metal springs - tell an adult.
So there you have it....have fun but stay safe!