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Trampoline Safety

Does your child play unsupervised on a trampoline? Although trampolines are not entirely unsafe if used with care, a younger child can get injured when playing on one. Injuries can result when your child lands wrongly on the trampoline, collides with another child, lands on the frame of the trampoline, or falls off. Trampolines are more suited to older children or teens with more control and skills, and yet, even teenagers should always be under supervision when on a trampoline. Avoid keeping a trampoline at home, and find out if your child's friends have trampolines at their homes before sending your child over to play. If they do, then don't send your child there and forbid him to use the trampoline. Instead, speak to the mother of the friend and request that the trampoline be made off limits for the kids when your child is over. It is best if trampolines are used under expert supervision of an instructor, for the purpose of gymnastic training.

If your children do enjoy playing on trampolines, here are a few safety tips that you can bear in mind.

Don't let small children on full sized trampolines as they may fall off.

Don't let more than one child at a time use the trampoline.

Prohibit your child from attempting stunts like summersaults on the trampoline. Often if your child sticks to simple jumping on the trampoline, he should be safe. But if he attempts any unsupervised gymnastic stunts, he can get badly injured. Landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis, and even death. Around a lakh children get injured every year, in the United States alone, due to trampoline play. Most of these accidents happen at home, on private trampolines.

Use trampoline enclosures, so your child will not fall off the trampoline.

Don't wear socks on the trampoline. Bare feet or trampoline slippers are best, as socks can be slippery and there are more chances of your child falling while jumping.

Keep the area around your trampoline clear. Make sure that the trampoline is not near any fences, branches or walls. It should be in a clear area, especially if you don't have an enclosure. In the absence of enclosures, pad the area around the trampoline so even if your child falls off, he falls on a padded surface and not on the ground.

Keep the mat clean by washing it regularly with water. Do not use detergents as they may affect the fabric of the trampoline, making it more slippery or sticky.

If you have decided to keep a trampoline at home, realize that you will need to ensure it is well maintained if you want your children to use it. Make sure that the springs are always in good condition, and keep them well greased at all times. Apply grease to the areas where the springs hook on to the frame of the trampoline. This will reduce wear and tear on the frame.

Let your child wear suitable clothing on the trampoline. His clothes should be well fitted, sufficiently stretchy so he can move about freely, but not too loose. Also, your child should wear a helmet and kneepads. Keep the helmet on the trampoline, so your child can wear it whenever he gets on.

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