Trampolines are a brilliant addition to any family garden. Do not underestimate how much your children will love a trampoline – seriously, you’ll have trouble keeping them indoors ever again. But this isn’t a bad thing, because trampolining is a worthwhile activity that’s great for overall health and fitness. It’s one of those rare things that are actually both enjoyable and good for you.
That said, safety is vitally important when choosing a trampoline to buy. Get it right and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your kids are enjoying themselves without getting hurt. Get it wrong, however, and the consequences are too grim to think about.
What doesn’t help is the huge range of trampolines out there. To the untrained eye, they all look practically identical. There can’t be that much difference, can there? Surely as long as they’re bouncy, they’ll do? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, supermarkets and discount retail outlets have been taking advantage of the popularity of trampolines. Many products you’ll find there are very cheap but also very inadequate when it comes to safety – you get what you pay for.
No one wants their child to be put in a cast, so read on to find out the five things you must look for when buying a trampoline.
Max user weight is an important starting point when looking for a trampoline to buy. This is self-explanatory: look for a user weight that easily covers the heaviest intended user. We always recommend going higher than you actually need, for extra safety.
You’ve also got to take everything into account here. A trampoline with a low user weight of 60kg may be just adequate for the time being, but a trampoline should be a long-term investment. As your kid grows up, it may not be enough anymore. And what about when Mum and Dad want a turn? Or garden party guests? It definitely pays to think ahead and buy a model with a generous user weight to begin with, rather than having to upgrade down the line and pay twice.
The framing takes the impact of every bounce and holds the product together, and so it goes without saying that you want a trampoline with a strong, reliable frame. A variety of frame thicknesses are available, which often correlates with the stated maximum user weight.
An important aspect to look for is how the frame is held together. Some trampolines are welded, and in this case the quality of the weld is a giveaway for how safe the trampoline is. Frames with rough, patchy welds are obviously not as well made – cheaper supermarket models are likely to be like this. Not only are these less reliable, but the rough nature of the welds means that a child could cut themselves if they touch the frame.
There are several different types of joints that can be used in a trampoline’s frame, and the most secure type is the ‘T-bar’. Trampolines with ‘T-bar’ framing need less welding or no welding at all, reducing the chances of weakness in the construction. We strongly recommend opting for T-bar framing, and as a result the majority of the trampolines we stock are weld-free T-bar style.
Springs are another very important part of your trampoline’s construction, and are often the first thing to break in a sub-par budget trampoline. Paying that little bit extra and steering clear of offers that seem too good to be true is a good idea – because they usually are. Ensure you buy from a quality brand such as Mad Dash, Plum or Jumpking and you won’t have to worry about the springs collapsing and causing injury a few months down the line. We also don’t recommend trampolines that substitute elastic bands for springs, as these lose their elasticity over time.
Trampoline springs rusting can be an issue, causing them to seize up or fall apart. Springs coated in a material such as zinc are resistant to this problem and will last much longer as a result. All Mad Dash trampolines, for example, feature zinc-coated springs.
As well as the strength of the springs, you need to ensure that they’re well padded. Inadequate padding, or even worse, no padding at all, is an accident waiting to happen. Limbs can fall in between the gaps in the springs, risking broken legs and arms – not good!
Make sure the trampoline you’re buying is safe and features thick padding made out of a durable material such as polyethylene. It also needs to attach securely to the frame, to avoid it falling off during use.
An enclosure is an optional accessory with many trampolines, but for safety reasons we’d recommend that it’s compulsory. After ensuring you purchase a high quality, reliable product with good safety features, an enclosure is the icing on the cake that will really put your mind at ease.
Without an enclosure, the user is at risk of falling onto the edge of the trampoline and hurting themselves, or falling off entirely. The impact of falling onto the ground from a high jump would be lethal, and very likely to cause serious injury. Make sure you select an enclosure with your trampoline, and your children will be free to bounce in safety.
– Guest author Katherine is a leading trampoline dealer offering unique Trampolines, Trampoline, Wooden Playhouse and more to meet your entire Climbing Frames storage requirements and to give you your desired storage space or working environment. Visit: http://www.outdoortoysdirect.co.uk/