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.
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:
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.
Trampoline shapes and safety
Trampolines are designed in various shapes, and different shapes offer varying degree of safety. The most common shapes of trampoline are rectangle, octogan, square and circle. Of the different shapes, rectangular shape offer the most safety while circular design offers the least.
Most safest to least safest:
The mat surface has an even bounce because the springs crisscross. It is less likely for a person to lose balance when they bounce away from the center with less pressure on the rectangular trampolines. The center springs and rails stretch more than the springs at the end rails so the bounce is softer, better, and more controllable. Most rectangular shaped trampoline's stress is on the center part of the rails so you need heavier, stronger materials to make it. The heavier, stronger materials make the trampoline last longer than other shaped trampolines.
Octagon & 12-sided trampolines:
The good thing about octagon and 12-sided trampolines are that the springs don't stress on the center of the trampoline. Instead they crisscross each other a little because of the eight straight rails, which is good for trampolines. The eight straight sides makes more vertical And like the rectangular trampolines, it has less pressure around the person jumping on it. This helps you keep your balance on the trampoline while the springs in the center stretch toward the end of the rails. It also provides a softer, better, and more controllable bounce.
The square trampolines also have a crisscrossing springs but not as many verticle springs as a rectangular trampoline. This causes a harder bounce from the springs that are further apart from each other. As a person jumps further away from the springs, their travel is less from the mat. The square trampoline is safer than the round trampoline but the quality of the bounce is the same.
The springs on the round trampoline stress only to the center of the trampoline. This makes the center soft so if you bounce away from the center, the mat area gets harder. If you lose your balance, you can collide more easily into another person jumping when you are on a round trampoline. The stress on a round trampoline is distributed equally so you can use lighter and less expensive materials to make it. Many people think that it's safer if the trampoline bounce keeps you in the center of the trampoline, but it makes it more dangerous for people to bounce at the same time in the center.