You may have recently invested in a bouncer for exercise or a large trampoline for your kids. It’s going to be a lot of fun, whatever you use it for. But, to ensure that it’s a happy experience with no drama, there are some things to consider to ensure ultimate safety when using this type of play or exercise equipment. Statistics show that some of the most common childhood accidents are caused by bouncing on trampolines.
Where To Place It
Where you place your trampoline or bouncer matters more than you know. It can make all the difference between having an accident or being injured for life. Whether you place your equipment outdoors or indoors, there are a few things to consider:
- Don’t place your bouncer or trampoline near a wall. Especially, if you don’t have a trampoline safety net. Statistics show that the worst injuries tend to be related to impact against a hard object. If your child accidentally bounces off against a fence or wall, they could receive serious head injury. If you are using a bouncer for your personal use, take the same advice.
- Make sure that it is not placed any sharp or protruding objects. If you have a bouncer in your home for exercise, take precautions to make sure that the surrounding area doesn’t have sharp tables or shelves where you could puncture yourself (and organs) should you have a fall. The same goes for outside use--especially with children. If you have a playground in your backyard or other items, make sure that they are far enough from the bouncing pad.
- If your backyard has a slope or slight hill, do not place it there. If you have any kind of curve or slope in your yard, make sure that your trampoline is not placed near it. If you don’t have enough space for it to not be installed there, consider a smaller bouncer. A trampoline is stable, only when it is placed on level ground.
- Do not place it on concrete. If you have grass in your backyard, this is the best place to put your bouncer. Concrete is-for obvious reasons-very dangerous for trampoline use, as falls off the bouncer and onto the concrete can be devastating. If you must use it on concrete, install a soft mat in as wide an area around it as you can to provide padding should a fall take place. The same goes for your indoor rebounder—make sure that you have soft padding around your jumping area.
- Do not place it near water. If you have a swimming pool, never be tempted to place your trampoline near it. This can be a big temptation for kids to bounce into the water from it or get on it after swimming in the pool. Water and trampolines don’t mix, for reasons that you can understand. Avoid serious accidents by keeping these two fun experiences far from each other.
Is A Trampoline Safety Net Necessary?
You may have placed your new equipment in a safe place following similar advice like the tips above. So, now you may wonder if a safety net is really all that necessary. You may not be able to find as cheap a net as you would like or think you have all the protection you need. But, before marking it off as unnecessary, you may want to think twice when shopping.
To help you determine if it is a must-have for you, consider the following:
- The safety net keeps your child in the trampoline and not outside on the ground. As you can imagine, the majority of bad injuries that happen due to bouncing are because of a fall off of the equipment. Safety nets are designed to be able to be bounced against without breaking and can keep your little one from breaking bones.
- Many safety nets include spring covers and padding. Springs are also big reasons why little ones get hurt. When they misstep and accidentally fall through the gaps between the springs, it can be a painful experience—as well as dangerous. Avoid injury or discomfort by using a safety net and padded spring cover.
- It allows for more kids to jump safely together. The most common reason why kids have accidents on bouncers is because of multiple children playing at once. One accidentally pushes the other and they go flying, etc. A net ensures that they never fall off, even if force is unintentionally used to send them flying.
Another item to consider for ultimate safety are anchor stakes. These will help to keep the trampoline firmly grounded, even during windy weather. These accessories, along with a safety net and spring cover will go far in preventing some of the more serious accidents caused by bouncing on a pad.
How Young Should Little Jumpers Be?
While some parents are okay with their toddlers jumping on a big trampoline, it isn’t suggested. Little ones are more prone to accidents and broken bones and aren’t as strong as older kids. Their bones aren’t as developed and strong as grown-up bones, which means that it’s easier for them to break them. Yes, even just jumping. Children under the age of 5 are more at risk for serious injury from even just playful jumping. If you have kids under the age of 3 who want to bounce, you may want to consider a low, indoor kid rebounder. This makes it harder for them to fall off and also allows for your close supervision.
If you are wondering, “Are trampolines safe for 2 year olds?” most parents would answer with a no. As much as they may want to, stay strong and only allow jumping for toddlers if you are going to be on it with them. Never allow toddlers to jump with older kids who don’t have the ability to be responsible for them while bouncing.
Set Guidelines For Trampoline Use
As a parent, you want your children to enjoy themselves. You may have invested in all the safety accessories, such as a netted enclosure or a pad for spring protection. These can go far in helping to keep your kids safe from bouncing injuries. But, another way to make sure they stay accident-free is to set guidelines, such as the following:
- Make sure that your children know that they can’t jump without your permission. This may seem strict, but you can prevent accidents when you are keeping an eye on them. Also, if you have more than one child, this helps to ensure that they won’t rough house on the bouncer when you’re not watching.
- Let them know that shoes are not allowed. From sprained ankles to trampoline damage, shoes have no place on the bouncer. Make sure that they know that shoes are not allowed before jumping.
- No pushing or touching allowed. Whether your child has a temper and gets upset or they accidentally push other children while playing, you want to make this a big NO. The worst accidents are typically caused by contact. Teach your children to allow space for their fellow jumpers.
- Don’t allow backflips or somersaults while jumping. Your kids may want to show off things that they have learned in gymnastics or at their school. You will want to allow for them to practice while on their own, but if other kids are over, you should make it clear that this is not allowed. The worst trampoline injuries are typically caused by backflips or other “gymnastic” moves. As you can imagine, if they do it while jumping with other kids, collisions can happen, causing harm to both involved.
- Let your kids know that when accidents happen, they must stop. Serious accidents can become even worse if other kids keep jumping when one is injured. Let your children know that they must absolutely always pause jumping when someone gets hurt. From a slight scratch to a sprained ankle, your kids should always stop and call for help when any type of accident happens.
- You may want to consider “no jumping at night.” When they can’t see each other while bouncing, they may be more prone to accidents. Either install a bright light for use while playing at night or avoid nighttime jumping.
- No jumping while the equipment is broken. A spring or two may have come off or there is a slight tear in the safety net. As much as your kids may want to jump anyways-as it will probably still bounce fine-make sure that they don’t. Broken equipment isn’t safe equipment and it could be easier for them to have accidents.
It may be tough to make sure that your kids follow the trampoline rules, but it is one of the most important safety precautions to using a trampoline. When you find that they have disobeyed the guidelines, they may need time off from being able to use it. If you are willing to have one in your backyard, consider if you are willing to enforce the safety guidelines.
Common Injuries That Happen During Trampoline Exercise
As fun as bouncing can be and as many safety procedures as you may follow, injuries do tend to happen. The following are the most common ones:
- Broken bones: Broken bones tend to happen when people use trampolines without safety nets, but they also happen simply from children colliding. Sometimes they are minor fractures, while other times they require surgery. Younger children are more prone to broken bones due to weaker bones. When it’s just a fracture, your little one may not need to even wear a cast, but if it’s a serious break, you may find that surgery is the only way to get them back to normal.
- Sprained ankles and wrists: Sprained ankles or wrists are extremely common due to children landing wrong. Whether they try to do a fancy jump and land wrong on their wrist or another child accidentally crashes into their leg, sprained ankles and wrists are most likely going to happen along the way. These kinds of injuries just don’t happen to children. You can also misstep on your rebounder which could result in sprained joints. Make sure to stay cautious while having fun during exercise.
- Minor bruises and cuts: Along the same vein, bruises or cuts may happen when kids collide while jumping. As many safety rules as you may have, sometimes things happen during play and they may end up with little cuts or bruises.
- Head and neck injuries: By far some of the worst injuries, they can happen more easily than you think. While backflips or some type of fancy jumps are the most common reason why they happen, they can also happen due to falls that people don’t land right. From falling with too much force on your forehead to falling off the trampoline onto your back, these types of injuries aren’t pretty. Sometimes, the injured person can get up and go, sometimes the accident may cause paralysis.
As you can see, injuries can and do happen and if you decide to own a bouncer, you need to be aware of the risks.
If you are sure that you want to buy one of the best options on the market, such as an Academy or American, remember safety. From installing safety nets to placing it in a safe, soft area, you can take precautions to avoid accidents.
A bouncer will require you to be strict if you have children to ensure their safety. If you feel that your kids may not be ready for trampoline rules and guidelines for this type of play, it may not be the best equipment for your backyard. Their protection and health matter more than bouncing.
The above safety tips and guidelines will help you to have some control over your children’s safety and to prevent bad injuries. You’ll want to discuss these safety tips as well as your own with your family. It’s a big decision to make, but if you want to have one for your home, choose safety above everything. Happy bouncing!