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Trampolines are a great way for kids to get exercise and spend time outdoors. But before you make the purchase, there are some important considerations. Read on for six things to think about before you buy a trampoline for your kids this summer.

1. Does Your Home Insurance Cover Trampolines?

For most homeowner’s insurance, you may need to purchase additional coverage or an umbrella policy that will protect you in case your child or a guest is injured while jumping on the trampoline.

2. Are You Able to Supervise?

Trampolines can be dangerous, particularly when kids don’t follow the rules. For best safety, only one child should jump at a time, and adults should always be watching. Think of the trampoline the same way you would a swimming pool–it should never be used without a responsible party present.

3. Can You Store the Trampoline in Inclement Weather?

Leaving a trampoline out in the yard in the rain and the snow can damage the springs, making it less safe to use and lessening “bounce.” You should also purchase a cover to keep it dry, since jumping on a wet surface can be very dangerous. These are just little helps that can prolong the life of your trampoline and optimize the safety.

4. Is There Room for it in Your Yard?

Even if you have a large outdoor space, it might not be ideal for a trampoline. The structure needs to be on completely level ground, a safe distance away from trees, decks, sheds, and other obstacles. Some trampoline owners have even gone as far as to make it ground level. Now, this takes a lot more effort, but if you are working with uneven ground and are worried for your child’s safety, this can be a great option.

5. How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

Buying a budget trampoline is a bad idea. The less you spend, the more likely you are to have a structure that is poorly built or constructed, which increases the likelihood of falls, collapses, and other injuries. By contrast, spending money on quality equipment will give you a safe trampoline that can last for years. Never purchase a used trampoline.

6. Are You Willing to Take the Necessary Safety Precautions?

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 83,800 trampoline injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2011. You can greatly reduce this risk by implementing recommended safety procedures: a net enclosure to prevent children from falling off the trampoline, a lock on the net entry so that it cannot be used without adult supervision. And if your children are going to be having friends over to play on the trampoline, injury attorney Joseph M. Todd, recommends having your friends parents sign a waiver to take the liability off your hands in case of an accident.

If you feel that your family can adapt to these requirements, then a trampoline can be a great way to have fun in the sun this summer.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to use trampolines safely.

Image courtesy of foilman via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.