A trampoline is a fun way to bounce out extra energy, train for competitive sports, and incorporate physical exercise into a daily routine. Watch a toddler or young child go from point A to point B and notice how they are running, jumping, skipping, or hopping along.
Bouncing is fun, it spends energy, and it feels good. A trampoline is a great way to add bouncing into the daily grind. However, trampolines can be dangerous if not used properly. One of the most crucial aspects to safe bouncing is following the guidelines on how to put a trampoline together correctly and adhering to recommended safety procedures.
Whether at the gym training for the next gold medal, bouncing for exercise, or enjoying watching children have a blast in the backyard, a trampoline is a fun way to include these.
What Is a Trampoline?
image source: flickr.com
A trampoline comes in many shapes and sizes and can be used for recreational use as well as training purposes for gymnasts, divers, and circus performers. A trampoline is a piece of taut fabric stretched onto a metal frame supported by coiled metal springs. The springs allow the trampoline user the ability to bounce, not the actual fabric of the trampoline. We commonly refer to the fabric as the trampoline bed or bounce mat. Trampoline bouncers will enjoy the fun and physical benefits of bouncing, but they should also familiarize themselves with important safety issues and learn how to put a trampoline together correctly. The trampoline has been around for a long time and is a great source of entertainment, exercise, and training.
Early trampoline-like devices can be seen in Inuit cultures during special ceremonies. These trampolines are formed from blankets being held by several members of the community who use them to toss a person in the air. Early circus performers have bounced their way into the hearts of viewers while performing stunts and reaching new heights. Firemen have also used trampoline-like devices to catch people when jumping from burning buildings.
Are Trampolines Safe?
Trampoline safety is extremely important for bouncers of all ages. Injuries can happen anytime a trampoline is part of the fun. Whether bouncing at a training facility or at home, there are several safety requirements that should be followed to ensure optimal safety. However, injuries can still occur even when all safety precautions are followed.
Most trampoline-related injuries occur when multiple people are bouncing at the same time. Therefore, one of the biggest recommendations is to only allow one bouncer at a time to use the trampoline. This will help reduce the chance of injury from colliding with another bouncer. Using a safety net that surrounds the trampoline might help by catching a bouncer from potentially falling off. Adult supervision is always highly recommended. Also, adults should take the time to learn how to put a trampoline together correctly before allowing anyone to bounce.
Trampolines come with step-by-step instructions on how to put a trampoline together, therefore, they should be followed explicitly. Make sure the springs are covered with a protective padding. Also, as enticing as it might seem, stunts and tricks are discouraged unless in a training facility under the direct supervision of a trained professional.
Types Of Injuries
Some of the most common injuries that occur with trampoline usage are broken bones, sprains, and strains. Bouncing can be fun but it can also throw off balance and coordination causing the bouncer to land incorrectly and cause strain on the body that can cause injury. Many bouncers fall off and land on the hard ground, also resulting in injury. Some broken bones may even require surgery. The springs should be covered to protect the bouncer from landing on them and scraping or pinching themselves been the tight coils. If there is more than one person bouncing, they could collide in mid-air or upon landing. A major potential danger of bouncing is head and neck injuries that could result in more serious or permanent damage. These injuries can happen when bouncers land wrong, attempt stunts, fall off, or collide into each other. These injuries can also occur even under adult supervision, so use caution when bouncing recreationally.
If a trampoline will be on personal property, the homeowner should contact their insurance company and make sure trampoline usage is covered. If that is not part of the policy, then it should be added as a rider to the policy. Check the equipment regularly and if any part of the trampoline or protective coverings are ripped or damaged, replace them before allowing anyone to bounce again. Homeowners should know how to put a trampoline together and keep all instructions for future reference. It is also advisable to put a cover on the trampoline that requires adult assistance to remove such as a wooden frame secured with a lock.
How to Put a Trampoline Together
Trampolines come with step-by-step instructions that should be followed exactly as outlined in the manual. Taking the time to learn how to put a trampoline together is the first and most important step in trampoline safety. And even though eager bouncers might urge a speedy setup, it is worth doing it right to avoid potential product malfunctions.
Review And Check The Package
Upon bringing home the new addition to the yard, open the box and check all the pieces for accuracy and safety. Make sure all parts are included, and that nothing is damaged. Do not start assembly until all parts are present and accounted for. If anything is missing, contact the company and see what the next steps are. Missing parts can be shipped or picked up at the store or the entire trampoline could be exchanged for a new one.
Organize The Parts
Take the time to put all the parts into piles and organize them. Parts can look similar and if the wrong part is used during assembly, this could increase the potential for the equipment to malfunction, thus causing an injury. Spread the parts out and then cross-reference them against the manual to ensure everything is there. Next, gather the tools necessary.
What You Need
- Power Drill
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Safety gloves
- Rubber mallet
- Spring puller (this is optional but will reduce the time to assemble the trampoline)
- A flat and optimal surface in the yard
- An assistant (also optional but will help make assembly easier and quicker)
Most trampolines will come with some of these tools to assist in how to put a trampoline together safely and efficiently. A power drill will be very helpful in screwing in bolts instead of doing so by hand which can be tedious and tiring. Also, the springs are tightly coiled and therefore it is easy to get pinched or stuck between them. Therefore, gloves are highly recommended. And while it may be possible to attach the springs by hand, a spring puller can aid in this process and help avoid injury during installation.
Putting The Frame Together
This may be the most important part of the assembly process. It is important to do it correctly and follow the instructions on how to put a trampoline together exactly. Lay the metal frame out flat to get a gauge of how big the trampoline will be. Start by inserting the ends into each other until it creates the shape of the trampoline. Most trampolines are either circular or rectangular. Double check the manual to ensure the proper pieces were used at the correct places.The next phase is to insert the legs of the trampoline. The legs should slide in easily but if not, tap them into place with a rubber mallet. Insert them correctly so that the holes for the bolts line up. Once all legs are in place, secure them with the provided bolts. A screwdriver will work but can make for a tiring and long task. A power drill is advised for this step. It will save hands, muscles, and time.
Once the frame is assembled and the legs are secured with bolts, flip it over. Even if the assembly is being done solo, get a partner to help with flipping the trampoline right side up to avoid injury and bending the frame. Check to make sure that legs are securely attached and if there is any sign of wobbling, tighten bolts at the site for a snugger fit. Before moving on, double check that the frame is secure, stable, and on flat ground.
Attach The Bounce Mat
While this part can be done solo, using a partner for this step is highly recommended. If a partner is available, go to opposite ends of the frame by counting the holes in the frame. Work together to attach the springs from the mat to the frame. Use the rubber mallet to snap the spring into the frame if it is difficult to get in or hovers over the hole. If working solo, it is recommended to put in 3-4 springs on one end and then move to the opposite end and attach 3-4 springs. Work back and forth like this until all springs are attached.
About halfway through this step, it will get noticeably more difficult to pull the spring and attach to the frame. This is where safety gloves and the spring puller will make the job easier and safer. The bounce mat needs to be pulled extremely tight in order to pull the potential energy from the coiled springs to give the trampoline its elasticity.
Attach The Protective Spring Cover
The padded spring cover will go over the springs and the metal frame of the trampoline. The pad will have hooks, rope, or Velcro to attach to the frame and keep it in place. This is essential for injury prevention. Falls on the springs can cause scrapes, bruises, and painful pinches or cause users to get stuck in the coils. The padding also cushions the metal frame should a bouncer land on it.
Set Up The Safety Enclosure
Not all trampolines come with enclosure nets but they can be purchased separately and are highly recommended. Some safety and insurance requirements might insist on them.
Gather the net and the bungee cords. The bungee cords keep the net in place while the trampoline is being bounced on. Connect the posts and cover with foam sleeves. Consult the guide on how to put a trampoline together to make sure all steps are being followed exactly.
Attach the bungee loops with hooks to the top of the posts. Secure the posts to the netting and attach to the frame.
Test It Out
Once the instructions on how to put a trampoline together have been followed, hop on and test it out. Bounce on the trampoline several times to test for safety and stability. If there is anything unstable about the trampoline, find the faulty area and tighten bolts or secure as necessary. If you’re unable to do it alone, call the company it was purchased from and follow their advice or recommendations. Do not allow children or other adults to bounce until the trampoline is properly and securely assembled.
A final and optional step is to secure the trampoline to the ground. This can be done with additional straps or bungee cords to resist tipping over from usage or high winds.
image source: flickr.com
A trampoline is a great way to have fun. It is the perfect way to bounce out extra energy and soar in the air. It is a fun way to add physical exercise into life and can easily help adults remember what it is like to be a child by transporting them back to more carefree days. Bouncing is an activity enjoyed by people of all ages and can be a great addition to a training routine or just some backyard fun.
It is important to follow safety procedures and recommendations to make this sport as safe as possible. However, injuries do occur, so make sure to always have adult supervision when children are bouncing, limit the trampoline use to one bouncer at a time, and avoid trying stunts and tricks when not being supervised by a trained professional.