Signs Your Trampoline May be Unsafe
Since the emergence of the trampoline safety enclosure on the market in 1997 most trampolines are being assembled and used with a safety net. These appear to make a trampoline safer. But do they?
There are arguments for and against the safety of a safely enclosure, but what it really comes down to is which one you have. If the safety enclosure gives a false sense of security, but cannot withstand the impact of an adult, it is not providing a benefit to your jumpers. Always check the weight rating of your safety enclosure. If it does not have a weight rating, do not buy it. You have to know to what limits you can use the safety enclosure.
Likewise, if the safety enclosure has uncovered steel poles the trampoline is unsafe. The kids may be prevented from falling off the trampoline, but can still fall into a steel pole. Make sure the poles of the enclosure are padded. For added durability, make sure the padding on the poles is protected from UV exposure which can degrade the padding quality over time.
Not only does the safety enclosure have to be sturdy enough to withstand the impact of a jumper, the trampoline itself has to be heavy and stable enough to stay put. Light weight or unstable trampolines can topple over when a jumper lands into the net. Having wide spaced W shaped legs adds stability to the trampoline. Also, using high quality, heave gauge steel, makes the trampoline weigh more and stay put better.
Trampolines that do not have a spring cover are obviously unsafe. But trampolines that have a loose fitting or badly made safety pad can be unsafe even if it looks like your children will be protected from the springs. Having a loose fitting pad can be a tripping hazard, and having a badly made pad can encourage your children to step or jump on the springs unsafely.
Safety nets and spring pads can make the trampoline safer. But it can also make the trampoline only appear safe. When selecting a trampoline and safety enclosure, make sure that the safety features work in the way they appear to work. Do no assume the net will catch the weight of an impact, or the pad will support the weight of an awkward landing. Make sure that it will.