Trampolines are a popular Christmas gift for families, but they're also a very risky choice. Testing of 12 popular current models by CHOICE found that 11 failed basic safety tests.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
CHOICE's tests cover "potential strangulation and limb entrapment", including measuring the impact on a model head dropped from 1.5 metres onto the edge of the trampoline. 11 of the 12 tested models failed this test, with the sole exception being the Springfree Trampoline R54. That model is priced at $985, which in itself would discourage many parents. There is an Australian standard for trampoline design, but it's currently voluntary, not mandatory.
The key lesson isn't necessarily to not buy a trampoline, but to exercise sensible precautions. These should include:
- Supervising children, especially those under school age, when using the trampoline.
- Setting clear safety rules (including number of people at one time, not using in the rain, not using while wearing shoes).
- Ensuring there's adequate space around the trampoline (two metres around all sides and five metres overhead).
- Using the trampoline on even ground and securing if possible.
- Use the safety netting (our pictured trampolinist is definitely breaking the rules).
- Keeping the trampoline well-maintained and replacing rusted springs or damaged padding.
Our final trampoline hint? Save buying them until your kids stop believing in Santa. I still remember helping a friend assemble a trampoline at midnight on Christmas Eve so we could claim it had been delivered overnight; exhausting work!