Almost all large trampolines sold now have safety nets, though not everyone installs them. Having an enclosed bouncing space is a smart upgrade that can help prevent enthusiastic and incautious jumpers from leaving the mat by accident, but they aren’t perfect.
Are trampolines with nets safe? Read on to find out all about this unique and valuable feature, and I’ll teach you what you need to know to stay safer when you jump.
Trampolines with nets won’t make a trampoline completely safe, however they do reduce injury up to 50 percent than unenclosed trampolines. Although no amount of safety equipment can prevent you from rolling your ankle or crashing into another jumper, it will help. Safety nets with larger openings allow for nearly unobstructed view to allow for adult supervision from outside the enclosure.
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How Dangerous Are Trampolines With Nets
All trampolines are dangerous. There are over 100,000 reported trampoline injuries per year that end in hospital visits.
However, trampolines with nets reduce the incidence of certain types of falling accidents that involve going off the mat.
It is easy to get distracted or misjudge an angle and go flying off the side of a trampoline.
Moreover, since the majority of jumpers are kids and teens, most trampolining accidents happen to young people.
Children under 16 are the most often and most severely injured parties. Young people often break their long bones flying off the edge as they jump.
Landing on the ground from several feet up is enough to hurt anyone.
According to the Mayo Clinic and the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, “…trampoline-related injuries sent more than 1 million people — most of them children under age 16 — to U.S. emergency departments between 2002 and 2011, according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Nearly one-third had long bone fractures in the lower and upper extremities.”
Adding a net to the outside of a trampoline can prevent children from jumping off the sides.
Additionally, since they have to stop and open the entryway to leave the trampoline, kids are less likely to decide to try a fancy dismount, which can also lead to accidents.
Though avoiding all injuries is impossible, this is one piece of safety equipment that definitely helps.
How Much Safer Are Trampolines With Nets vs Without Nets
Unfortunately, there are no specific studies that show the percentage of off-trampoline injuries versus those that happen on the mat.
However, trampolines with nets are safer compared to those without nets. The most common on-trampoline injuries include crashing into other jumpers, problems with exposed springs, and rolled ankles.
Off trampoline accidents typically involve bruises, sprains, fractures, and breaks from landing on the ground or other equipment.
At least inside the mat, you have a soft surface to land on, which cushions some of the impact.
The chances of significant injuries are significantly reduced with covered springs and a net.
Although there are no hard numbers for exactly how far you need to fall to break every bone, the median distance for breaking long bones when you jump is 8 feet with a normal or attempted normal landing.
Since most outdoor trampolines are 3 to 4 feet off the ground, to begin with.
Then the springy mat helps you gain altitude and velocity, so it’s not hard to make an educated guess that most long-bone breaks in young people happen when they jump high and miss the edge of the mat, falling on the ground hard and at a wrong angle.
How Do Safety Nets Work On A Trampoline
A safety net on a trampoline works by catching jumpers the same way a net or fence at a batting cage might catch missed balls.
The net is sturdy, weatherproof, and tear-proof, with good flexibility. When a jumper plows into the net, it disburses their kinetic energy and cushions their impact by flexing backward.
The wave of energy from a jumper ripples outward from the impact site and is absorbed by 1000s of small, individual strands.
Instead of one person going, for example, 40 mph, 50,000 threads take up that energy and move, transferring it to the poles, other nearby lines, and the rest of the trampoline until it’s all disbursed.
As complex as that sounds, it only takes an instant.
Do Trampoline Nets Prevent Accidents
Trampoline nets do prevent accidents. While you can still land badly on the mat or, in extreme cases, jump over an open-topped net, almost all your off-trampoline injuries can and will be prevented by the net.
It’s essential to replace old, worn, or torn netting so you can continue to jump safely.
Most trampoline safety nets are only warrantied for 1 to 2 years at most because of how much use they get.
I recommend watching this video from Fun Sized Adventures to see how to replace your safety net.
Is It Better To Have Trampoline Net Inside or Outside Of Springs
It is better to have a trampoline net inside the springs. The most common injuries are falls, ankle rolls, and crashes but trampoline springs do their fair share of the damage.
Placing the net inside the springs reduces your jumping area to only the actual mat.
There’s little to no chance of getting a foot or other body part stuck between springs if you can’t jump (or fall) on them.
Helpful Tips To Know About If Trampolines With Nets Are Safer
Jumping on a trampoline has many benefits, like increased cardiovascular health and bone density.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s ‘safe.’ A properly used trampoline is great fun, but it doesn’t take much distraction to get hurt.
Here are more helpful tips to know about if trampolines with nets are safer.
- Using a net is just one of many ways to stay safer on a trampoline. To stay safer on your trampoline, always jump on the mat alone. Take turns if you have friends or siblings who want to bounce, and have a spotter when you jump. Additionally, you may wish to avoid extremely high bounces or flips, particularly if you are easily injured or have no previous experience.
- The growth plates at the ends of bones are where your bones expand as you mature. Jumping on a trampoline can help stimulate these areas so you reach your full growth potential. Sadly jumping without a net and breaking bones can cause long-term problems. According to Kids Health, “Most growth plate fractures heal and do not affect future bone growth. However, sometimes changes in the growth plate from the fracture can cause problems later. For example, the bone could end up a little crooked or slightly longer or shorter than expected.”
- Even with a net, it is possible to leave the trampoline or land on the ground. Although it is rare, you can jump over an open-topped net or tip a trampoline over with enough momentum. To avoid flying over the net, keep your jumps low enough no part of your body leaves the enclosure. Meanwhile, to prevent tipping, you can use weights on the legs and ensure your trampoline is perfectly level.
- A stunning 95% of all trampoline-related fractures happen at home, most of which come from outdoor trampolines. However, trampoline parks are increasingly popular, so the chances of breaking a bone away from home are also increasing. The location of the trampoline, the presence of rules, and even professional staff cannot stop a flying body from impacting the ground, so be aware no matter where you plan to jump.
There are no studies comparing the exact numbers of trampoline injuries that happened on netless versus trampolines with properly installed nets.
However, it’s evident from how the net works that having one will prevent many falls and broken bones.
A good sturdy net can disburse far more energy than your body will ever bring against it.
Moreover, installing the net inside the springs instead of around the outer edge of your trampoline can further reduce injuries by preventing spring-based accidents.
If you are careful to jump solo, with a net inside the ring of springs, and always have a spotter, the chances of anyone getting severely injured are much smaller.
All trampolines are inherently dangerous, but the right safety net will still make them safer.