Getting the kids outside and away from their electronic devices is a worthy goal for any parent. And after this past year, with most children doing their learning at home, the temptation to chase them outdoors has probably never been greater. Maybe that’s why sales of backyard trampolines continue to grow.
If you have a trampoline or are considering getting one, you should understand the associated drawbacks and liabilities. According to one source, trampoline injuries resulted in nearly 300,000 hospitalizations in 2018 alone. In addition to the risk to your own family members, trampolines are considered ‘attractive nuisances;’ an item that might be enticing to children but carries risk.
Here are some best practices for safe trampoline ownership:
- Install the trampoline on level ground, well away from trees, sheds or other objects.
- Install and maintain safety netting, as well as padding to cover springs, hooks and frame.
- Always supervise all jumpers regardless of age or experience.
- Restrict the number of users on the trampoline at any one time.
- Do not allow children under the age of 6 to use the trampoline.
- Prohibit jumpers from attempting somersaults or flips, as these can lead to serious spinal injuries.
- Do not allow the use of the trampoline as a ‘launching pad’ to jump onto other objects.
- Avoid having ladders or chairs near the trampoline. These could encourage an unsupervised child to climb up.
- Consider fencing your yard to keep uninvited kids from using the trampoline (the ‘attractive nuisance’ noted above).
Some authoritative sources recommend against trampoline ownership altogether, but if you already own one or plan to, understand that there will be an impact on your homeowners’ coverage. Make your agent aware that you have a trampoline and discuss additional liability coverage to insulate you from any injury claims. The cost will be far less than that of an injury claim for which you’re not insured.
Questions about trampolines or other homeowners’ coverage issues? Contact Consolidated Insurance.