Firstly, you need to consider if your garden is big enough for a trampoline. If it is going to be used mainly by children, will you have the time to supervise them correctly or can you be sure that they will follow the safety guidelines?
When buying, purchase safety pads or ensure that the model comes with safety pads that completely cover the springs, hooks and the frame. The pad should be a contrasting colour to the bouncing area. Consider models that have safety netting as part of the design, or purchase a safety cage.
The key safety issues are as follows:
- Approximately 75% of injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline. The person weighing less is five times more likely to be injured.
- Children under six years old are particularly vulnerable to injury.
- Injuries can occur to all parts of the body, including the neck, arms, legs face and head. Head and neck injuries are the most serious injuries associated with trampolines.
- Adult supervision is no guarantee of safety. More than half of all trampoline accidents occur whilst under supervision. However a trained ‘spotter’ can greatly reduce this risk. Somersaults and other complicated moves should only be done at a properly organised club.
- Choose a clear area, which is clear from hazards such as trees, fences, washing lines, poles or other equipment. Ideally there should be a safe fall zone completely around the trampoline of at least 2.5 metres. This should also include bikes, skateboards and other toys that could be a hazard.
- Place the trampoline on soft energy absorbing ground (i.e. soft and springy lawn or bark wood chip, sand or cushioning materials).
- Never place the trampoline on a hard surface (i.e. concrete, hard packed mud) without some form of crash matting or safety netting.
- Never use a ladder with the trampoline because it provides unsupervised access to small children.
- It is important that a trampoline is stored safely when not in use, particularly during winter months when the wind can force a trampoline to become airborne:
- Tie down large trampolines – there are tether kits available that can be used for this purpose.
- Flip upside down smaller rectangular trampolines.
- Remove safety netting from enclosure/cage frames to reduce the sail-like qualities of the cages during windy weather.