Will an Enclosure Make Your Trampoline Safe?

lady-on-trampolineWhen I first considered buying a backyard trampoline for my two young daughters, people – including their mother – told me I was nuts. I kept hearing horror stories about people injured when they bounced off the trampoline or when one collapsed in the middle of playtime.

My girls are athletic and energetic and I thought a trampoline would be a great way for them to get some exercise and have fun outside in the fresh air. I couldn’t quite believe that this fun backyard apparatus could really be fraught with that much danger. However, the last thing I wanted to do was drive one of my daughters to the emergency room with a broken leg or worse. So, I set out to find how to make a trampoline as safe as possible.

One of the first suggestions I came across was to get a proper enclosure for the trampoline. When I started searching online, there were so many options it was hard to figure out what I needed. With careful research, this is what I learned.

Will an enclosure make my trampoline safe?

Yes – If I carefully measure our backyard trampoline and get an enclosure that is specifically designed for its size and shape, the enclosure can definitely help make the jumping experience safer.

No – If I choose a “one-size-fits-all” option or one that is the wrong size and try to install it a different way or even sew the netting to make it fit, the trampoline enclosure will not provide the same safety benefit. In fact, it can make the situation worse because it could give way during an accident or fall off and tangle around the jumpers.

Yes – A trampoline enclosure made out of sturdy materials and tested and approved by US and international organizations will provide a benefit. While these may be more expensive than other options, the stronger materials, padded supports and indestructible netting will keep my daughters from falling and getting hurt.

No – If I attempt to save money by going with a cheaper model that has not been tested and approved for safety or use with my model of trampoline, more problems can occur.

I quickly learned that it was very important to have a secure and sturdy covering for the springs that surround the trampoline mat. This will prevent my daughters’ legs from slipping through and will stop many common trampoline injuries. The surrounding enclosure must also fit perfectly, be installed properly and be strong enough to withstand not only their weight pushing against it if they fall but also mine in the likely case of them convincing me to try out a few jumps.

There is so much more to trampoline safety than just buying the right enclosure and setting it up the right way. It is important to make and enforce rules if you want to buy your children one of these fun apparatus for the backyard. The ones I chose for my family were no toys or pets on the trampoline while jumping, no big kids jumping with little kids, no fancy tricks like flips or somersaults and adult supervision at all times.

With these rules in place and a top-quality enclosure installed properly, I’m sure my daughters will have tons of fun jumping on their new trampoline and their mother and I will have peace of mind that we have done everything possible to minimize the chance of injuries.

Rick Mason