Popular trampolines not passing safety tests

A REVIEW of 12 trampolines for sale in Australia has found 11 of the most popular models do not pass safety tests, a report by consumer advocate group Choice revealed yesterday.

The Choice trampoline review included numerous safety tests, including potential for strangulation, limb entrapment as well as ease of assembly and jumping performance tests.

One of the main safety tests was dropping a 4.6kg "head-form" from a height of 1.5m on to the trampoline, measuring the impact as it hits the soft edge or padding.

The only trampoline to pass all the main safety tests was the Springfree Trampoline R54.

Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said while trampolines were fun, it was also easy to get hurt when using them.

But the Australian Standard under which trampolines were assessed before being made available for sale was voluntary, with Choice calling on the government to make the standard mandatory.

"We expect manufacturers to strive to meet the existing voluntary Australian Standard, however our test results show that this is not necessarily happening," Ms Just said.

Of the 11 trampolines that failed the Choice test, many also showed some degree of permanent damage to the safety padding and vinyl cover after the shock test.

For some models there was also damage to the trampoline legs and frame tubing.

Ms Just said the foam used for padding on many trampolines also did not provide adequate protection for falls.

To read the complete safety checklist, go to: www.choice.com.au/trampolines.

To improve safety on the trampoline at home:

Space: a trampoline should have at least 2m on all sides that are clear from hazards and obstacles and have a minimum overhead clearance of 5m.

Padding: if you have an older trampoline, consider getting padding retro-fitted to the voluntary standard. Contact the store or manufacturer for information.

Maintenance: check regularly for tears, worn areas and sun exposure. Inspect the frame and springs for rust and deterioration.

Safety net: most trampolines come with a safety net and we strongly recommend you only use the trampoline with this net installed. Make sure it is not suspended from stiff or rigid poles and look for one that is assembled on the inside of the padding system.

Secure the trampoline: place it on an even surface and if possible anchor the legs of the trampoline to the ground.

Set clear safety rules: establish these early. (eg: 'one person at a time,' 'bare feet only', 'do not use when wet')

Ensure use of trampoline is supervised at all times.

Suggestions from CHOICE.


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