A trampoline is a device made by stretching canvas over a frame. Trampolines are used in gyms, as home fitness devices or for recreation. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used on dry land or made with an inflatable tube frame for floating on water. The concept of using a device for bouncing has been around for thousands of years, but the modern trampoline was trademarked in the 1930s.
A springless trampoline, which is a relatively new advancement in trampoline design, is similar to an ordinary trampoline, but uses flexible, fiberglass rods. The jumping mat and frame are parallel to each other and connected with the fiberglass rods. In another type of springless trampoline, the jumping surface is attached to an inflatable frame with flexible cords. The hope is that eliminating the steel frame and metal coils could significantly improve safety and lower emergency department visits. One of the first springless trampoline patents was published in the United States in 2003.
Steel Frame Trampoline
An ordinary trampoline is made by attaching a stretched canvas, nylon or synthetic polyethylene material across a steel frame with coiled, metal springs. A trampoline with high-tension springs has a limited, restricted bounce because the canvas is rigid and has less give. Low-tension springs allow a higher bounce because the jumping mat is flexible and provides momentum and speed. Trampolines are a leading cause of accidents for kids. According to a 2007 study by published in Academic Emergency Medicine, emergency department visits for trampoline-related injuries increased 113 percent from 2000 to 2005 compared to 1990 and 1995 and continue to be a significant source of danger for kids.
Springless trampolines are used just like ordinary trampolines. They can come with safety netting, or you can buy netting separately, that protects users from falling off the device or jumping off incorrectly. Unlike traditional trampolines with safety netting, springless trampolines use flexible fiberglass rods to keep the netting in place. Springless trampoline users never need to come in contact with metal frames, springs and poles. There are no sharp parts. Even though regular trampolines have protective mats covering the metal structure of the trampoline, the safety padding can deteriorate and lose cushioning over time.
No matter what kind of trampoline you own, whether it has springs or is attached directly to a frame, both can be potentially dangerous. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends using a safety net to surround a trampoline that is elevated off the ground. Safety nets reduce the number of injuries from falling off the trampoline, jumping off incorrectly or landing on the springs. Springs, hooks, edges and frames should be covered in safety pads. Home trampolines should be on a soft surface like rubber mulch or woodchips and should never be on concrete. You should keep your trampoline a fair distance from trees, power lines and other obstructions.