Safety net or enclosure ensures kids will not fall off the trampoline.

Bouncing on a trampoline can mean hours of excitement in your garden but before you buy one, there are several things to consider, writes Putri Zanina

WHAT will be fun to have in a garden? A trampoline. Jump, climb and play! Go ahead and create a garden adventure with a trampoline as the main draw. It has the potential of having great play value for years. Not only will the children love it, adults too will want to give it a go. Whether to exercise and sweat it out or simply to jump for joy, the trampoline will make your garden come alive.

Before you go out and buy one, consider these 10 points.

1. AGE APPROPRIATE

Choose a size according to the age of the users in your home. Generally, a full-size trampoline of 1.8 metres or larger is suitable for children aged 6 and above. For younger kids, get small folding trampolines with easy-grip handles and robust steel frames. There’s also padded cover that hides the bungee cord for safety.

2. SAFETY NET

Choose a trampoline with a safety net, also called safety enclosure. Most trampoline injuries occur when there isn’t one and jumpers fall out.

3. AVAILABLE SPACE

Consider not only the space to put the trampoline but also allow at least two to three metres of clear space all around it. Slightly less is acceptable if you have a trampoline with enclosure. Don’t put the trampoline against a wall, a fence or any other structure. There needs to be a good gap for safety and ease of getting on and off the trampoline.

4. CLEAR SPACE ABOVE AND AROUND

Don’t place your trampoline under a tree as it may interfere with fervent bouncing. And you don’t want to have to clear fallen leaves or worse, bird droppings, from your trampoline net. Also avoid placing your trampoline under overhead cables or even next to washing lines, swings, pools/ponds, and things like bicycles, toys and garden tools.

5. LEVEL GROUND

Put it as level as you can to the ground. Never put it on a slope as this can be dangerous — the bouncer will incline to the lower edge of the trampoline hence affecting the gravity as you bounce. If your garden needs levelling work, do it. Don’t compromise on safety.

6. SOFT GROUND

Soft ground absorbs the bouncing impact better. Avoid hard surfaces like concrete or tarmac. But if you don’t have any soft ground to place your trampoline then having a safety enclosure is a must. Still, you must place soft matting around the trampoline.

7. IN-GROUND ALTERNATIVE

An in-ground model is a safe alternative that doesn’t need an enclosure. And it solves the problem of a bulky-looking trampoline becoming an eyesore in your garden.

8. SHAPE MATTERS

Consider the shape of the trampoline, too. The most popular is round but for those more serious about using it for gymnastics and rapid exercises, go for a rectangular one. Oval ones are also available and these are ideal for smaller and narrower gardens. You get more jumping space with the rectangular and oval trampolines.

9. KEEP WITHIN SIGHT

Children can be overzealous so you must keep an eye on them whilst they are using the trampoline to ensure that they will not be doing anything dangerous. Have the trampoline within sight of your windows in the lounge or the kitchen to make it easier for you to have a peek.

10. SPARE PARTS

A good quality trampoline may last for about five years. After that, you may need to buy the odd spring or pad that has worn out or displaced. Make sure you can get these spare parts so that you may continue to use your trampoline. A good alternative is to buy spring-free trampolines which have been proven to be the safest in the world.