#childsafety | 14 things every parent needs to know before buying a trampoline for their children

Trampolining can be a lot of fun for youngsters but concerns have been raised about the injuries they can cause.

A new study, published in the British Medical Journal’s Injury Prevention journal, has found that trampolining injuries are behind half of all emergency hospital admissions among under 14s in the UK.

Researchers found that children who use trampoline centres are more likely to be seriously injured and require hospital admission than those who use trampolines at home. However, they have called for greater public awareness of the potential dangers overall.

Read More:Trampoline injuries to blame for HALF of children’s A&E admissions in UK

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says head and neck injuries are the most serious ones associated with trampolines. The most common injuries are caused by awkward landings and include sprains or fractures to the wrist, forearm, elbow and collarbone, it adds.

To help parents, the charity has the following 14 things to bear in mind for the use of home and garden trampolines. There are also tips on what to do when buying a trampoline and where to put it. More information can be found here.

Before you buy

  • Choose a model with safety pads, and check that the pads cover the springs, hooks and frame. The colour of the pads should contrast with the frame.
  • Consider models with safety netting as part of the design, or buy this at the same time. The safety netting should prevent the bouncers from hitting rigid component like springs or the frame. They should also prevent bouncing off the trampoline.
  • New trampolines should meet the European Standard EN71-14:2014 ‘Safety of toys – Trampolines for domestic use’.

Where to put your trampoline

  • Ideally, place the trampoline on energy absorbing ground, such as a soft and springy lawn, or bark wood chip, sand or other cushioning material.
  • If you do not have a net, look to have a safe zone of 2.5metres, clear of toys etc on the ground and objects such as trees, washing lines, poles, glass frames and other hard items. Never place the trampoline on hard surfaces such as concrete, tarmac or hard packed mud without absorbent safety matting.

Checking and keeping your trampoline safe

  • Ensure trampolines are tied down before use.
  • Be sure to check the padding and nets are in place and that the spring and fixed-metal parts are covered.
  • On windy days and during the winter, it can be best to pack down the trampoline.
  • Some trampolines have ladders. Where possible remove them to limit unsupervised access by smaller children, when the trampoline is not in use.

Rules for use

  • Take turns, one at a time! 60% of injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline. The person weighing less is five times more likely to be injured.
  • Don’t allow somersault or risky complicated moves – unless trained and highly skilled.
  • Never allow a bouncing exit.
  • Trampolines are not suitable for children under six years of age. All children should be supervised when on the trampoline.
  • Never combine alcohol with trampolining. Children have been hurt while bouncing with adults who have been drinking at summer garden parties.

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