Bouncing on a trampoline can be fun for both adults and children. However, according to Mayo Clinic, using a trampoline presents a high risk of injury for children. Potential injuries may include fractures, sprains, strains, head injuries, and more. Mayo Clinic also notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages the use of home trampolines because the risk of injury is so high.
If you decide to buy a home trampoline, it is important to take certain safety precautions before use. Additionally, consider whether your homeowners insurance covers trampoline-related injuries. Before installing a trampoline in your yard, contact your insurance agent to determine your coverage and policy requirements.
Trampoline Safety Measures for Your Family’s Home
If you are going to use a home trampoline, several steps can be taken to minimize the possibility of injuries, according to Mayo Clinic.
Ensure Proper Trampoline Safety Equipment and Setup
By ensuring that your family’s trampoline is set up properly with the appropriate safety accessories, you can help prevent some of the most common injuries children may face.
- Choose the right site for setup. Make sure the trampoline is on level, flat ground. Ideally, the trampoline should be placed on energy-absorbing material such as grass, a springy lawn, sand, or wood chips. It should also be placed at a safe distance from buildings, trees, and other hazards. If a child jumps too high off of a trampoline, nearby obstructions may increase the severity of any injuries.
- Check nuts, bolts, and springs. The trampoline springs and mat allow you to bounce when you jump, so they must be at the proper tension. Before the trampoline is used, all springs must be in the proper position, and the bolts must be tightened. All equipment, including springs and bolts, should be inspected regularly to make sure it is in good condition.
- Add safety netting and safety pads. A trampoline enclosure should be used. This is a special net that surrounds the trampoline. Trampoline netting prevents children from hitting hard or abrasive parts of the trampoline, such as the frame and springs. It will also prevent children from falling off the trampoline. Because of the important function of safety nets, only high-quality safety nets should be purchased. In addition, shock-absorbing pads must be installed to cover the trampoline’s springs, frame, and any surrounding landing surfaces.
Inspect Equipment Before Each Use
Check that the trampoline is in proper working order and ready for children to use before each activity session. Inspect these areas of the equipment:
- Jumping mat surface. Inspect the surface of the jumping mat, making sure it is free of moisture or snow before the trampoline is used. Wet mats can result in children slipping, landing incorrectly, and getting injured. Jumping mats should also be inspected for dangerous holes. If a mat is excessively worn, it should be replaced. The replacement mat should be of good quality and the same size.
- Keep the area clear. The area under the trampoline should be kept clear of objects. Any object under the trampoline can injure jumpers.
To preserve the strength and integrity of the equipment, trampolines should be packed and stored inside the house or garage during the winter months.
How Children Can Prepare for Trampoline Use
Firstly,children should undergo a medical checkup prior to using a trampoline. A qualified medical doctor will be able to determine whether a child’s bones are strong enough to support his or her weight while jumping.
Children can prepare for trampoline use by observing the following:
- Wear no jewelry. Jumpers should remove any jewelry and other sharp objects before using the trampoline.
- Choose appropriate clothing. Do not wear clothing that has drawstrings. Clothing with drawstrings can be dangerous, as they may get caught in the netting. This can cause the jumper to land awkwardly and may lead to injuries.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Trampolines should not be used by a jumper under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Further, children may be injured while jumping on a trampoline with adults who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Setting Rules for Jumping and Trampoline Activities
When and how your children use the trampoline can also make a difference in injury prevention. Instruct your children to use the trampoline appropriately by requiring the following:
- Only jump under supervision. Always have an adult supervising the use of the trampoline. Do not allow unsupervised use. Children can be very creative and will often look for new and inventive ways to use things like a trampoline. This is particularly true if adults are not supervising.
- Use a ladder. Trampoline ladders should be used to enter and exit the trampoline. Remove any trampoline ladder when not in use to prevent unsupervised use of the trampoline.
- Limit activities. Activities on the trampoline should be limited. No somersaults or other dangerous moves should be allowed. Limit how high users can jump, and do not allow children to attempt complicated stunts.
- Limit use to one person. Only one person should be allowed to use the trampoline at a time. Multiple jumpers simultaneously using a trampoline can bounce off each other and sustain injuries.
- Land in the middle. Children should be trained to land in the center of the trampoline. This reduces the possibility of falling off the side of the trampoline. If a child lands at the edge of the trampoline, the possibility of falling off is greater.
Keep in mind that children under the age of six should not be allowed to use a full-size trampoline, as they do not have sufficient physical ability to control their bouncing. If you want to allow your young child to use a trampoline, small trampolines can be used instead.
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What to Do If Your Child or Another Loved One is Injured on a Trampoline at Home
Even when these safety tips are followed, injuries can happen. You may be able to seek compensation after your child’s or another loved one’s accident – either from a homeowners insurance policy or from a negligent trampoline manufacturer.
Take these steps to protect your right to seek a financial recovery for your child’s pain and health hardships:
- Check your insurance policy. Some homeowners insurance policies may cover the costs related to a trampoline injury. However, other insurance policies will not. Check the details of your policy to understand what’s covered.
- Get immediate medical care and all advised treatment. It’s important that your child gets started with any necessary medical care. Also, by documenting your child’s injury, you have a record showing that a trampoline accident caused the injury. See any advised treatment through. Again, this is important for your child’s recovery and for the purposes of any insurance claim you may file.
- Get a free case review from a law firm. An injury lawyer’s office may offer free consultations after a trampoline injury. They can tell you more about your legal options and even review the details of your insurance policy.
Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for Help with a Trampoline Injury Case
Trampolines can be great fun, offering exercise and outdoor activity. However, they can also result in serious injuries if misused. Many of these injuries can be avoided by following the simple safety tips listed above.
If your child or someone you love was injured in a trampoline accident, you may have options for a financial recovery. Contact the personal injury team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for a free consultation: (404) 888-8888. There is no charge for our services unless and until we win your case.
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