Jump, Jump Sugar Lump
Have you ever noticed how kids love to jump? They even sing the verse ‘Jump, jump sugar lump’ with delight as they bounce. They are like little springs. They just can’t keep still. The number of parents who have to admonish their kids on a daily (nightly) basis to ‘stop jumping on the bed’ proves kids love to jump. Give them a means to get rid of all this energy and buy a trampoline (makes sense don’t you think?).
Any parent who has invested in a trampoline for their kids would tell you it keeps them occupied for ages. The amount of supervision depends on the age of the child. That is, if you have taken all the necessary safety precautions.
- The safest trampoline would have an enclosure. This prevents the child from falling off the trampoline. There are trampolines with a partial enclosure and those that are fully enclosed. The enclosures are nets surrounding the trampoline. Enclosures are essential.
- Trampolines have steel frames and springs and these must be covered with pads. Pads prevent the steel bits from harming your child and also act as shock absorbers. After time, they do need replacing. Pads should be at least 15 mm thick and at least 500 mm heavy per square meter.
- It is better to have a trampoline with a removable ladder. When your child is finished jumping you could remove the ladder. It helps prevent a younger child from jumping without supervision.
- Make sure you are able to get parts for replacement due to wear and tear over time.
- Only buy a trampoline that comes with a warranty.
- In reality, a well used outdoor trampoline lasts about ten years. The frame will last much longer but parts like the mat, springs, pads and safety enclosures need replacing.
- There are parents who regretted not buying a large enough trampoline. Standard sizes for round trampolines in diameter are 8, 10, 12 and 14 feet. Of course, you must make sure the trampoline you choose is able to fit in your garden space. A good tip is to make a circle with a hosepipe to see if that size would fit.
- If you have younger children and / or pets then include an under-net to prevent access underneath the trampoline. You don’t want them to be jumped on while the trampoline is being used.
- To be safe, a trampoline must be completely level. The surface of your garden or yard area must not be even slightly sloped.
- Do not place a trampoline where there are poles, trees or other structures. Do not place a trampoline underneath power lines or other obstructions.
- To help avoid injury do not place the trampoline on a very hard surface like cement (just in case your child inadvertently bounces off).
- Speak to other parents who have a trampoline for advice and then compare their brand with others.
Once you have decided which trampoline you want to buy let your child have a few trampoline lessons. This will teach him or her how to jump safely, never to jump off the trampoline, never to jump with another person and never to somersault while alone amongst other important safety tips.