Does your yard contain a trampoline? During winter months, that piece of play equipment might go largely unused, but with school out for the summer, many children will be looking for ways to pass the time, and they may look to the trampoline as a solution.
But this piece of gear can pose serious safety hazards if kids and their parents aren’t careful. Even with proper usage, a jump can go awry and an injury could take place. Parents need to take the steps necessary to protect their kids from harm on a trampoline. A few months back, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics featured a report on trampoline injuries and how to prevent such, and with summer upon us, it’s important to revisit that information.
It should come as no surprise that insurance companies call trampolines and things like swimming pools “attractive nuisances.” Among the under-14 set, trampoline injuries and swimming injuries are pretty even with one another. Such features of a home can tempt a child to play without the supervision of adults. Largely because of this, insurance companies will place exclusions for trampolines and the like in contracts.
Before you purchase a trampoline or let your kids use it, you should speak with your insurance company to figure out what kind of coverage you have. That way, you won’t be in for a nasty surprise when you attempt to file a claim.
You also need to lend your supervision to trampoline usage at all times. When you keep an eye on things, you can interject when your child looks like they’re about to engage in a dangerous activity. Also take the time to ensure that kids from around the block won’t be tempted to enter your yard just to use the trampoline while you’re away. Toward this end, you might invest in an enclosure around the trampoline and adequate fencing around your home to keep curious kids away.
Enclosures, though, are no guarantee against personal injury. Although they should keep a child from falling off the trampoline, injuries can still take place on a mat. And i you don’t have the trampoline enclosed by netting, then you must make sure that any potential hazards are suitably far from the trampoline so a child thrown off the mat won’t come down on them.
To reduce injuries that take place on the mat, place the trampoline on a level surface and limit usage to one person at a time. The injury risk rises dramatically when two or more people use a trampoline at once. Discourage your children from doing flips or other feats of daring, and make sure they understand that they’re not to use the trampoline when you’re not there.