In a trampoline, the thick fabric is stretched over a frame with the help of springs, and this allows the fabric to stretch and create bounce when you jump on top of it. A safety net often extends over the perimeter of the frame to prevent falling from it after bouncing.
Trampolines are a popular toy for kids and they come in many sizes and shapes that can suit both adults and children. It is not uncommon to see them installed in backyards for entire families to use. Frames of trampolines can be made from steel, plastic, or PVC. The size of trampolines can vary and even accommodate as many as 20 persons. They are a great source of entertainment and allow for physical activity at the same time, thus helping you to maintain your health through the exercise that using them gives.
Types of Trampolines
The most common type is the outdoor trampoline fitted in an open space, which must be clear of any overhanging tree branches or any other object that the user can come close to during the jumping and bouncing. Again, though springs are commonly used to stretch the mat, some trampolines come without springs (springless trampolines). These trampolines are safer to use.
Trampolines come in different shapes from square, round, rectangular, or even oval. Your choice of trampoline shape must be based on the space and shape of the place where you are going to install it. Trampolines tend to bring jumpers to the center when they bounce or jump on them. Consider this fact, and also take into account the number of people who will be using it at the same time, as this can help you decide the size that you need.
Buying a Safe Trampoline
When you go to buy a trampoline, you must first decide on the space that you have for its installation. Some trampolines are small enough to fit in rooms and allow them to be used all the year-round. Due to the intensity of the physical exercise and bounce, it is very important to see that the trampoline you buy considers all aspects of safety by including padding, safety nets, and other factors.
Most trampolines are made of steel frames, though those of fiberglass, PVC, and plastic are also available. The safest trampolines are those that are made of steel tubes that have a proper cross-section that is able to take the heavy weight and stress that jumping on it will subject to. Most trampolines come in kit form and need to be assembled at the site of installation. Care must be taken to see that the joints and assembly fixtures are of the same standard of high strength that the steel is of.
Most trampoline mats are made of polypropylene blended with carbon for strength. Any material used must be able to resist the UV rays where they are used outside. Most manufacturers do offer guarantees on their mats, but the mats can tear and require replacement.
While you are bouncing on the trampoline you do not have full control of how you will land, and it is likely you or your child will hit the springs and metal frame at the perimeter of the trampoline. This can lead to serious injuries. So you must look for trampolines that have padding on both the frame and the springs. These pads are often of a color different from that of the mat so that edges of the mat get clearly defined and your feet do not inadvertently step on the springs or frame. There are some models of trampolines that do not use springs for the mat, but where the bounce comes from rods or leaf springs below the mat, but even these edges will need padding.
Enclosure and Netting
Every trampoline will have an enclosure that prevents you from losing your balance and falling off it, while you are bouncing and jumping on it. This enclosure must have a net that is not tightly fixed to any framework it rests on. It can also make it safer if the net framework itself is flexible, as rigid poles and horizontals can become safety hazards if you bounce into them.
While you can always climb onto a trampoline that is not very high, most trampolines are provided with ladders that are fixed to the side so that you do so safely. These ladders can help children to climb on, but should be detachable and removed when the trampoline is not being used.
Trampolines for reasons of safety must be installed on level surfaces and preferably have soft material like grass all around it. There must be no furniture or trees and branches close to it. There must be at least two meters clearance all around the trampoline and five meters clear above it, as you can bounce quite high on trampolines.
Safe Use of Trampolines
Supervision of children using a trampoline is a must to ensure their safety. Avoid bouncing against the netting as kids often do on purpose. They are loosely fixed and can cause injuries. You should never use shoes while using a trampoline, as their hard soles can damage mats. Jumping is best done at the center of the trampoline, and their use is suspended if it starts raining, as then you can slip and miss your footing on a slippery mat.
Exercises on a Trampoline
You can perform a number of exercises on a trampoline, but you must be most concerned about your safety and stability while performing them. Do not do so without the proper instruction and guidance.
Maintenance Can Ensure Safety
Always check the trampoline and its various parts, especially if you are putting it away in winter and reassembling it when the weather turns better. Or see if you can give it some cover during the winter months.
A trampoline can be a lot of fun and enjoyment for the entire family and can enable you to get all the exercise you need right in your backyard.