My older brother and I asked our father every year for a trampoline, and, every year he gave us the same answer: “It makes insurance way too high”. Luckily for him, neither my brother or myself understood anything about insurance, but, nevertheless, we never did get a trampoline. Fast forward to my brother having a family of his own… he just bought their very first trampoline. We have been laughing together about all the silly excuses our dad gave us over the years, but we decided that whatever the lame excuse he gave, our father was ultimately looking out for our safety. My brother wants to do it all: have the trampoline AND help his kids be safe. Here are some important trampoline safety hacks every parent should know.
1. Read the Manual
If you come from the Lego generation like my husband and myself, you seem to think that looking at pictures is enough when it comes to assembling a new item. Pictures sure are helpful, but so are words. When it comes to safety, best to assemble your trampoline as best as possible. Check out these instruction manuals and video tutorials from Jump Sport.
2. Keep It Low And Padded
It can make for a big project, but it’s suggested to keep trampolines as low to the ground as possible. Many families choose to dig a hole in which the trampoline is lowered into so that it can sit flush with the grass. Falls aren’t nearly as nasty when they’re made at ground level. Also, use the padding provided with your trampoline to cover the springs. The pads will keep legs and arms (and anything else) from getting caught between the springs. All Things Thrifty shares how to properly dig a trampoline hole in your yard.
3. Age Restrictions
Just as their are rules and age guidelines for children riding in cars, you need to set rules and age guidelines for the trampoline. It will likely raise some epic whining, but help your children understand that rules are made out of love and are for their safety. You might consider buying a mini tramp for your toddler so he/she can jump along while older siblings are on the big trampoline.
Just as a parent should supervise while children play in a pool, you should plan to do the same with trampoline time. You may not be able to catch a falling child, but having you near by in case of an accident will cut down on injury time.
5. Check the Springs
Trampoline springs help keep tension even so that jumping is consistent and predictable. If any springs are loose or missing, it can cause unexpected movement thereby throwing a jumper off balance. Be sure to check that springs are present and attached before jumping is allowed. For similar reasons, also test springs to make sure they are still in good quality with strong tension.
6. Clear Debris
Finding a leaf or two on a trampoline isn’t something you would normally think to be concerned with, but where there are some leaves there may also be other, more harmful pieces of debris. Make it a habit to check your trampoline mat before each use for any items that may cause injury to an unsuspecting jumper. Read here for tips on how to clean a trampoline.
7. Set Ground Rules!
Establish jumping rules with your children before any jumping is allowed. Let them “help” make the rules by sitting down and getting their suggestions. Guide the conversation so that all of your rules come up during the conversation. The more children feel that they helped make the rules, the more they’ll respect and follow them (teacher trick 101). Click here to get some great trampoline safety tips and guidelines.