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MONDAY 24 DECEMBER, 2007 | RSS Feed

Trampoline Safety

by Kiddie Toys | post a comment

Trampolines are becoming increasingly popular as recreation items in homes, schools and private properties. Improper use of the trampolines can cause serious injuries to children, teenagers, and virtually anyone who uses trampolines. Injuries from improper use of trampolines include sprained ankles and wrists, skull fractures, broken backs and necks. The purpose of this article is to alert the users, and provide necessary precautions one can take to minimize the risks.

Background

There are variety of sizes and shapes of trampolines exist today from the smaller, personal excercise type that are used in homes to the large outdoor variety types. With popularity of trampolines, trampoline gymnastics became an official Olympics Games in 2000. On a modern trampoline sports, a skilled athelete can bounce up to 10 meters high performing multiple somersaults and twists. With increased popularity of trampoline sports, children and teens may imitate atheletes without proper skills and without adult supervision which results in serious injuries.

Improper use of Trampoline

Injuries from improper use of trampoline range from sprained ankles and wrists to more serious injuries, such as skull fractures, broken bones, sprains/strains, head injuries, neck & spinal cord injuries, and death. It is estimated 100,000 people were injured on trampolines in 1999, which is triple the number of people injured in 1991. Trampolines can be very dangerous. Almost two-thirds of the people injured from trampolines are children ages 6 through 14 years. According to the CHIRPP report, most trampoline injuries are the result of:

  • Attempting tricks or flips
  • Colliding with, or landing on, another person on the trampoline
  • Being pushed off the trampoline by another person
  • Landing hard or improperly while jumping on the trampoline
  • Falling off the trampoline and landing on the ground or a hard object
  • Coming into contact with the springs or frame
  • Jumping off, instead of climbing off, the trampoline

Read the manual & follow instructions

ASTM International has developed a standard which addresses trampoline components, assembly and instructions, as well as warnings that are to be provided with the product. Be sure to read safety warnings before using a trampoline.

Before allowing anyone to use trampoline, the trampoline must be properly installed in the proper environment. The manual that comes with the trampoline will show weight and space restrictions. You will be at a much higher risk if you do not follow weight and space restrictions. The trampoline should also include proper safety features. The metal frame should be covered with safety pads, and safety nets will also help minimizing risks. Accidents often occur when used in private home settings without proper supervision.

Ways to minimize risks

Adult supervision will not adequately prevent injuries. When involving in trampoline sports, a professionally trained trampoline safety personnel should always supervise the activities. It is advised that everyone using trampoline take the following precautions when using a trampoline.

  • Ensure that there is adequate, mature supervision when using a trampoline.
  • It is advised that trampoline be used only one person at a time.
  • Trampoline use by children under six years of age is not recommended.
  • Do not try somersaults on the trampoline because landing on your neck or head can cause paralysis. Somersaults are advanced skills that should only be performed in an appropriate facility under the guidance of a certified instructor.
  • Never jump onto a trampoline from a higher place.
  • Never use a trampoline as a springboard to other objects.
  • Only use a trampoline that has shock-absorbing pads that completely cover the springs, hooks and frame. The safety padding should be securely attached to the trampoline and have a contrasting color to the trampoline bed, so that the two areas can be easily distinguished from each other.
  • Set up the trampoline on level ground that is well away from structures, trees and other play areas. It is recommended that there be at least a two meter clearance around the sides of the trampoline and at least an eight meter clearance above the trampoline.
  • Make sure that the ground under the trampoline is completely clear of objects or obstructions.
  • A trampoline enclosure with safety netting may help prevent injuries from falls, but it should never be used to replace adequate supervision.
  • Inspect the trampoline before using it. Make sure the springs are secure, that the bed has no holes or tears, that the padding is securely fastened, that there are no bends or kinks in the frame, and that the leg braces are securely locked.





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