Bouncing on a trampoline can be fun for both adults and children. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, using a trampoline presents a high risk of injury for children. Potential injuries include fractures, sprains, strains and other injuries. Trampoline injuries can also include serious neck and head injuries. The Mayo Clinic goes on to indicate that the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages the use of home trampolines because the risk of injury is so high.
If a homeowner does decide to buy a home trampoline, it is important to consider whether your homeowner’s insurance covers trampoline related injuries. Contacting your insurance agent to determine coverage and requirements for coverage is a very good idea before installing a trampoline in your yard.
If you are going to use a home trampoline, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the possibility of injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Before the trampoline is used, all springs must be in proper position and the bolts must be tightened. It is the trampoline springs along with the mat that allow you to bounce when you jump so they must be at the proper tension. The springs need to be tight to allow jumpers to bounce high and safely.
Make sure the trampoline is on level, flat ground. Ideally, the trampoline should be placed on energy absorbing material such as grass, a springy lawn, sand or wood chips. It should also be a safe distance from buildings, trees and other hazards. A distance of at least three meters from potential hazards is recommended. If a child jumps too high off a trampoline, obstructions may increase the severity of any injuries.
Always have an adult supervising the use of the trampoline. Do not allow unsupervised use. Children can be very creative and will often look for new and inventive ways to use thing like a trampoline. This is particularly true if adults are not supervising.
Trampoline ladders should be used to enter and exit the trampoline. Remove any trampoline ladder when not in use, to prevent unsupervised use of the trampoline.
A trampoline enclosure should be used. This is a special net that surrounds the trampoline. Trampoline netting prevents children from hitting parts of the trampoline such as the frame and springs and will prevent children from falling off the trampoline. Because of the important function of safety nets, only high quality safety nets should be purchased.
In addition, shock-absorbing pads must be installed to cover the trampoline’s springs, frame and any surrounding landing surfaces.
All equipment, including springs and bolts, should be inspected regularly to make sure it is in good condition.
Set Some Rules for Jumping and Trampoline Use
Activities on the trampoline should be limited. No somersaults or other dangerous moves should be allowed on the trampoline. Limit how high users jump on the trampoline. Do not allow children to attempt complicated stunts they may have seen on YouTube or somewhere else on the internet or television. Those videos are often created by professionals and should not be attempted by amateurs.
Only one person should be allowed to use the trampoline at a time. Children often enjoy multiple jumpers at one time but this can be dangerous. Multiple jumpers on a trampoline at once can bounce off each other and sustain injuries. Not surprisingly, the child weighing less is five times more likely to be injured.
Jumpers should remove any jewelry and other sharp objects before using the trampoline.
Inspect the surface of the jumping mat, making sure it is free of moisture or snow before the trampoline is used. Wet mats can result in children slipping, landing wrong and being injured. Trampolines should be packed and stored inside the house during winter months.
Jumping mats should also be inspected for dangerous holes. If a mat is excessively worn, it should be replaced. The replacement should be good quality and the same size.
The area under the trampoline should be kept clear of objects. The safety net must not cover the area under the trampoline, so it can be inspected easily. Any object under the trampoline can cause an injury to jumpers on the trampoline.
Children under the age of six years old should not be allowed to use a full-size trampoline. That age group is at greatest risk for injury on the full-size trampoline. They do not have sufficient physical ability to control their bouncing. If you want to allow your young child to use a trampoline, mini-trampolines can be used instead.
Users of trampolines need to be trained to land at the center of the trampoline. This makes the possibility of falling off very low. If a child lands at the edge of the trampoline, the possibility of falling off is much greater.
Trampolines should not be used by a jumper under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Further, many children have been injured while jumping on a trampoline with adults who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Appropriate clothing must always be worn. Do not wear clothing that has drawstrings. Clothing with drawstrings can be dangerous for a number of reasons, including getting caught in the netting. This can cause the jumper to land awkwardly and may lead to injuries.
Children should undergo a medical checkup prior to using a trampoline. A qualified medical doctor will be able to determine whether a child’s bones are strong enough to support his or her weight while jumping on a trampoline.
Trampolines can be great fun, including exercise and workouts. However, they can also result in serious injuries if misused. Such injuries can result in paralysis and even death. Many of these injuries can be avoided by following the simple safety tips listed above. It is not enough to be aware of the safety tips, they must be put into practice even when it is not convenient or over the objections of children.
Reach Out to Our Office
Unfortunately, trampoline injuries are an all too often occurrence. If you, or someone you love, has been injured, or killed due to a trampoline tragedy, you may have a legal remedy. Contact the knowledgable personal injury attorneys in Rome, GA at The Bader Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. There is no charge unless we win your case.