Naturally any responsible parent will consider the safety of trampoline in Kenya and Tanzania before using it. Although no activity is completely safe, statistics done in 1998 reveal that trampoline injuries in the US affecting children between the ages of 5 to 14 dropped remarkably as compared to those attributed to basketball, cycling, soccer, football and baseball.
Researchers concerned with the type and causes of trampoline injuries have also found out that most of them occur as a result of flouting of safety precautions. Let’s look at a 2003 study from a Canadian hospital that took statistics of eighty children injured in the past 22 months as they used a backyard trampoline. The report revealed that in most cases this injuries occurred, there was assumption and imaginative use of the trampoline including diving onto the facility from a risky height i.e. roof top.
The United States Product Safety Commission in conjunction with Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting & Prevention Program in conjunction with The US Consumer Product Safety Commission found the main trampoline injuries in the 1990’s to be
- Trying flips or tricks
- Landing or colliding with someone else on the trampoline.
- Being shoved off the trampoline by someone else
- Hard or improper landing while doing stunts or jumping
- When you fall off the trampoline and land on a hard object or ground
- Contacting the frame or the springs
- Jumping instead of climbing down the trampoline
- Landing onto the trampoline frame or springs in the event doing a somersault or related stunts.
These Safety Tips have been recommended by The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Keep the children using the trampoline under strict supervision
- Kids below the age of six should not be allowed to use full size trampoline on their own.
- Disallow back flips, somersaults and stunts.
- Prohibit using the trampoline whose frame, springs and hooks are not completely padded.
- The trampoline must be placed far from structures and related play areas.
- Ensure the ladder is always kept separate from the trampoline to bar unsupervised children.
- Have the trampoline net enclosure intact as it can minimize or prevent injuries occasioned by falling off.
- Make sure the trampoline is well assembled on a level or flat area.
- Always climb off the trampoline. Never Jump off.
- Regulate your bouncing and keep it low. Maintain a pattern of landing in the centre of the facility.
- Know and honor your physical limitations. Don’t bounce for too long and avoid bouncing when you are either tired or short of breath. People with circulatory ailments or pregnant women should avoid bouncing.
- Do not carry sharp objects in your pocket while bouncing. You should also remove all jewellery
- Never use a back yard trampoline when intoxicated with alcohol, drugs or under any form of medication.
- Do not allow many children to use the trampoline at a go. This leads to many injuries.
Note however that risks from injuries that accrue from bike riding; especially those that require hospitalization are three times more than those promised by a trampoline. Our children are several times likely to sustain injuries from riding a bicycle than from using a trampoline. When used well, Thrifty trampolines in Kenya and Tanzania are not only safe but a great way to have fun and keep fit