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Trampoline Safety Regulations: What You Need to Know
Trampolines are a popular backyard fixture in Washington and for good reason. The feeling of weightlessness as you bounce through the air can be incredibly thrilling. Alongside the excitement, however, trampolines also come with inherent risks and potential dangers.
A trampoline accident can lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injury. To mitigate these risks and ensure the safety of users, trampoline safety regulations have been established to help owners and users play safely. By adhering to these guidelines, you can enhance the safety of trampoline activities and reduce the likelihood of an accident.
Make Sure That Your Equipment Is Safe
Trampoline safety begins when you purchase it. Generally, you want to follow these guidelines when choosing the right equipment:
- Purchase a round trampoline instead of a rectangular one, especially if you have young children. Rectangular trampolines have a dangerously high bounce.
- Purchase trampoline safety nets to enclose the trampoline around the perimeter. These nets can help catch someone if he or she bounces off.
- Make sure that your trampoline includes shock-absorbing safety pads that cover its hooks, springs, and frame.
- Always review the safety manual that comes with your trampoline to ensure that the equipment is safe and that you set it up according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Set Up the Trampoline in a Safe Spot
Once you bring your trampoline home, the next step is to set it up safely:
- Find a spacious, flat area away from potential hazards to set up the trampoline. Make sure the area is clear of fences, hedges, trees, and other equipment that could cause injury.
- Always place the trampoline away from areas like playgrounds, buildings, and trees.
- Do not place the trampoline on top of concrete, asphalt, or any other hard surfaces. If you must use these surfaces, always use a trampoline safety net or crash mat.
- To create a soft surface underneath the trampoline, use sand, wood chips, or other materials that have a cushioning effect.
- Establish a fall zone of about 8 feet around the trampoline, and make sure the area is clear at all times.
- Enclose your trampoline in a fenced area. A fence can help prevent unauthorized or unsupervised access.
Establish Rules for Safe Jumping
Before jumping on the trampoline, it is important to establish ground rules to help everyone play safely. The following guidelines can help you prevent accidents and serious injuries:
- As a rule of thumb, children under the age of six years old should never be permitted on a trampoline.
- Older children should be supervised by adults at all times. To avoid unsupervised access, never leave a ladder or chair near the trampoline.
- If the trampoline is wet, never allow children to jump on it. A slippery surface can heighten the risk of an accident.
- Do not allow anyone to perform stunts or dangerous maneuvers on a trampoline. A somersault or flip can easily result in a serious injury.
- When getting off a trampoline, a user should walk to the edge, sit, and slide off. Never bounce off a trampoline.
A trampoline accident can be scary and, in some cases, life-threatening. If you or your child are injured on a trampoline, it is important to seek medical attention right away. If you believe that someone else’s actions are responsible for the accident, speak to a trampoline injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.