If you’ve got a trampoline in your backyard, your first priority is to keep things safe for kids and anyone else who might end up using it. (That includes neighborhood foxes.)
Homeowners need to be particularly mindful of any potential dangers when it comes to the condition of a trampoline and the way it is being used. Otherwise, you could open yourself up to legal liability for any injury that ends up occurring. And even when the liability provision of your homeowners insurance coverage kicks in, it can still end up costing you by way of increased premiums or even a cancelled policy.
The safety-related steps you need to take depend on the law in your state, and especially whether or not a trampoline is considered an “attractive nuisance,” which would trigger a heightened set of precautions for kids visiting your property, even when they are technically trespassing. (Learn more about homeowner liability for trampoline injuries and attractive nuisance laws.)
With that in mind — alongside the reminder that there were over 83,000 trampoline-related emergency room visits in 2011 alone — the U.S. Consumer Production Safety Commission recently offered some Trampoline Safety Tips for parents and homeowners:
- only one person on the trampoline at a time
- no somersaults
- shock-absorbing pads should completely cover the trampoline’s springs, hooks and frame
- trampoline should be placed well away from structures, trees and other play areas
- no child under 6 years of age should use a full-size trampoline.
- do not use a ladder with the trampoline, because it provides unsupervised access by small children
- always supervise children who use a trampoline, and
- use a trampoline enclosure to help prevent injuries from falls.