Texas Living

Trampoline buying tips

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 5.20.13

Who doesn’t like bouncing on a trampoline?

Problem is, collisions, falls, and stunts — such as jumping off the trampoline — can lead to serious injuries and even death. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics renewed its warnings about trampoline dangers last fall and says no child younger than age 6 should play on them at all.

With a nod to the inherent risks, safety net enclosures and padding that covers springs have become almost as common as the bicycle helmets that most responsible parents require for their kids. Whitney McNab of Backyard Adventures in Austin, Texas, says she wouldn’t even think of selling a set without the net and pads.

“A trampoline is safe when it does what it’s supposed to do,” she says. “It’s up to the parent how they regulate it. Establishing rules can help eliminate some of the risks.”

For instance, prohibit multiple kids from jumping at a time. “That’s when things can get out of hand,” she says.

To ensure you’re buying a quality trampoline, McNab recommends parents:

  1. Look at the warranty. A 90-day warranty should give you pause about the quality of the set, while a 5-year warranty assures you the equipment will last, or at least be replaced for free. The hot Texas sun can damage safety pads over time, for instance. A warranty covers such things.
  2. Insist on a trampoline that has a replacement parts program. That way you won’t have to replace the entire trampoline if a piece breaks or deteriorates.

For how to use a trampoline safely, consider the measures, such as prohibiting somersaults and not using ladders, suggested by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).