Trampoline Safety Advice And Reviews Of Two Models
One of the biggest problems with getting kids to get more exercise is the difference between what grownups think is good for them and what kids like to do instead. An adult might think that working out in a gym is the way to get some good cardio but for a child, any kind of activity that involves walking, running, jumping, or other activities that are fun are just as good. Playing tag, soccer, kickball, tennis, volleyball, bicycling, walking the dog, or jumping on a trampoline are all excellent exercise while being fun to do. Basically, anything that gets them away from the computer screen, TV screen, or video game console is a step in the right direction these days.
Jumping On A Trampoline Uses Lots Of Energy
It also helps kids develop their muscles and bones to be stronger and much more coordinated. They’ll become a lot leaner with less fat and more muscle throughout their core and in their arms and legs as well.
Kids that exercise more will have less of a chance of becoming obese, a huge concern these days, which leads to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Then as adults, earlier high blood pressure and higher cholesterol levels which can increase heart disease risks.
The beauty of the trampoline is that kids really get a constant and complete body workout without the drag of feeling like they’re exercising. There are hundreds of different gymnastic moves a person can learn that will enable them to excel in dozens of other sports throughout their lifetimes. Here are some of the different types of trampolines available.
There Are Different Types of Trampolines
The most common type that you’ll see is the basic round trampoline. They come in lots of sizes ranging from 8 feet in diameter to over 16 feet in diameter. The size of the space you have to place it for use and store it when not in use will help you decide on the size. Larger adults also need a larger size too.
The round shape is considered to be safer since it tends to rebound jumpers back towards the center rather than over the edge. Since they are the most popular, the round shape will always be a little less expensive as well.
The next most popular shape is the rectangular trampoline. It has the advantage of fitting into spaces and utilizing all of the room available next to a building or along a fence, or between two structures. Due to their shape, jumpers won’t be constantly bounced towards the center and they may bounce higher too. This is good for gymnasts practicing moves that they’ll use in other specialties, like dismounting from parallel bars or other specialties. But it is less safe for beginners.
Then there are the small round trampolines that people use to increase their fitness level and heart rate while keeping the workout low impact on their joints. These are usually referred to as fitness trampolines and they have the advantage of being easy to store. There are also water trampolines that are made from inflatable tubes, they’re very safe and fun to use in a pool, plus super easy to store after deflating them.
How To Choose The Right Size Of Trampoline
The smaller trampolines, from about 8 to 10 ft are great for the smaller backyards but may not be large enough for the bigger child or two children bouncing at once. The next size up, the 12 ft size, is considered to be medium and can accommodate one adult or two teenaged kids. Having two people jumping on the same trampoline takes practice though since effort needs to be made to coordinate the jumps so as not intersect with each other. Collisions can cause injuries.
The 14 ft size of a trampoline can usually handle two large kids at the same time or one really big adult. Keep in mind that there is a maximum weight for any of these and it will be listed in the instructions. Really large people may put too much strain on the springs and frame of a smaller unit. The higher the quality the stronger the trampoline will be at any size.
The way prices are for the different trampolines is the 8 to 10 ft size can average around $300 or more. The next size up, the 12 footer, is going to be around $400 or more. You might wonder why there is such a large increase in price for just a couple of feet, however, there is also an increase in strength of the springs and frame in order to carry the extra weight involved.
The 14-foot trampoline will usually be $500 and that again is to make everything stronger for the extra weight. Then, if you decide to go higher quality on any unit, you should add at least an additional $200 to each of these prices. These are all prices to consider for the round models and you can add an additional $100 for the rectangular model. When measuring any of the different models, round, rectangular, or even octagonal, you measure from the outside of the metal frame to the outside of the metal frame on the opposite side. The actual jumping surface is smaller because of the springs. Having a complete system that also includes spring covers and a safety net is very highly recommended and will increase the prices several more hundred dollars but is well worth the peace of mind when it comes to safety.
Signs Of Quality In An Outdoor Model
Most trampolines are made to go outdoors since most homes won’t have enough ceiling height to accommodate jumpers. So even the local school gymnasium will still be using models made for outside use. The best quality is going to have completely galvanized steel frames to prevent rust and galvanized steel springs as well. Don’t even bother if it doesn’t say galvanized in the description.
They should also have UV resistant jumping mats since they’ll have to be in the sun at least some of the time. The same goes for the spring covers and safety nets, if they aren’t made from UV resistant materials they’ll deteriorate rapidly in the sun. Rain doesn’t cause half as much problem as the sun does when it comes to the jumping mat, spring covers, and safety enclosure.
To Keep Kids Safe There Should Be Strict Rules
Trampolines are not a toy for very young children and only experienced users should be left alone without supervision. Here are just some of the rules that should be followed for the safety of kids, and adults.
There should be a very strict younger age limit for use. Children aged 5 and under should not be allowed to jump on a trampoline. They don’t have the strength, coordination, and muscle control necessary to safely bounce and jump. For older children, there should always be adult supervisors and spotters around the edge to catch them if they get bounced into the springs or off the edge. Serious injury could result, especially for inexperienced users.
In nearly all cases it’s safer to only have one person bouncing on a trampoline at a time. It is possible, with a lot of experience and professional training, to teach two people to bounce at the same time if they are able to perfectly match their bounces. Otherwise, it’s quite common for one or both to get thrown off the trampoline or for them to collide in the middle. Two bouncers also need to be of similar weights for the same reason. The smaller person is quite likely to get bounced either into the middle or off the edge.
Any gymnastic moves, flips or somersaults, should be done under a properly trained coach’s supervision with the proper safety belt and additional support personnel. This is to prevent serious neck and spine injuries that could cause permanent disability.
Children should also be taught the proper way to mount and dismount from the trampoline by stopping their bouncing and walking to the edge to use the ladder or sit on the edge and slide off. Any ladder should be moved from the trampoline when it’s not in use to prevent unauthorized people from getting on unsupervised and getting injured.
The Best And Safest Place For A Trampoline
The area should be perfectly flat and free from debris, tree branches, hedges, clotheslines, and any other possible hazards for several feet around. The surface under the trampoline should be soft, not concrete so that it can absorb some of the shocks as people jump.
If you must put the trampoline on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt, you should seriously consider a safety net to keep people from falling to the hard ground surface. There are also crash mats that can be laid in a safety fall zone in case someone does fall to the ground. Having adult spotters carefully placed around the edges is great, but they can’t be expected to catch everyone, all of the time. The two worst injury problems are from neck injuries while attempting somersaults and head injuries from falling all the way to the ground. On the other hand, the most common injuries come from two bouncers colliding.
The Best Brands Of Quality Trampolines
This brand of trampolines is well known, very popular, and reasonably priced. They can be found for an average price of $350 online and in most sporting goods stores. They can be assembled the first time in about 2 to 3 hours if a person is fairly handy and has a helper. Their best units can be bought will a safety enclosure which makes them far safer, especially for beginners.
When people have trouble with the assembly instructions, there are numerous “How-To” videos online on Youtube that can explain in detail each of the steps while you watch. One thing that many purchasers mentioned in the online trampoline reviews is that it would be wise to order anchors for the frame to keep it stable and firmly held to the ground. Their 15 ft model comes with a recommended 200 lb weight limit that should be strictly followed as well.
Reviewers online also mentioned that the bounce mat and springs provided an excellent bounce, better than some other models they had tried. Also, since the safety enclosure is attached from the factory to the spring covers and jumping canvas this brand has a higher safety recommendation from many parents. The overall feeling of most of the users online was that for the price, quality, and safety the Skywalker brand was a good buy and lasted several years in the weather.
The AllyOOp 14 ft
This particular brand likes to advertise that their model has more bounce than others and most online purchaser seem to agree. At 14 ft it can accommodate several jumpers, but remember the safety rules and only allow experienced people of similar weights even try.
The frame is advertised as pre-galvanized meaning that all of the various parts were galvanized separately before manufacture and assembly. This is an added precaution against rust which will ruin most frames eventually that are left outside. The AlleyOOP 14 ft has a weight limit of 250 lbs so it can take a fairly heavy adult and still provide a good bounce and they won’t be hitting the ground underneath. They also recommended an overall weight limit of 800 lbs with several jumpers so that all of the weight is not concentrated in one spot.
Most users thought that the angles of the frame helped make this trampoline stronger and able to handle more weight. The feet are in a “W” shape rather than straight or in a boxed shape.
The special springs are what helps to set the AlleyOOp apart from the rest of the competition. They are variable and there are 96 of them in total. Since there are more, the jumping mat will have more tension, and be tighter than other brands. The variable bounce springs engage easily at first and stronger as they are pressed into service. This allows for them to work well with lighter loads and heavier loads depending on the users at the time. The variable action also reduces joint fatigue.
Most reviews mentioned that the jumping mat seemed of higher quality and they seemed to agree that it would last longer in the elements than many other brands. Still, if you’re not using your trampoline in the winter months, it’s common sense to take at least the mat, spring covers, and safety net inside.
Most people that rated this online found that the quality of the galvanized frame that was powder coated forest green was of the superior grade than other models. It is also more expensive as well. The safety features of the advanced net design are also one of the more talked about advantages. Many of the buyers were happier with this model after they had already used another model of cheaper materials and design.
The doorway in has an overlapping feature the help to keep kids from tumbling out. Plus the safety net is advertised to be able to withstand 295 lbs which are above industry standards. The manufacturer brags about having over 50 patents for their safety improvements and they believe they have done the best to keep young kids safer while using their products.
The two trampolines that are mentioned here are just a couple of many that can be found online. They are both more expensive because they come complete with the spring covers and safety nets that others would require to be bought separately. Most experts will agree that having a safety net is of utmost importance for any trampoline and is highly recommended as it will almost eliminate all bounce outs which are the most dangerous types of accidents involving trampolines.
When choosing one for your own family, take the time to read the online reviews. Some of the cheaper models don’t last in the weather or have safety faults. Either way, you usually get what you pay for, just don’t risk safety to save a few dollars. Happy and safe jumping to all.