There’s something unbelievably freeing about jumping high in the air. It defies the traditional life of following structure and rules. Rather, the moment is just about living. The carefree activity is loved by many and is captured in the essence of the trampoline. A popular backyard toy, the apparatus brings smiles to many. Is it safe, though? How do parents gain some control over this playtime? Here are three tips for making ownership a bit easier and more secure.

1. Establish Rules

Before kids hop on, sit down and write out family procedures. It’s important that everyone remain consistent and aware of how to use the device; therefore, discussions happen first to provide a thorough understanding and foundation. Young children, under the age of 5, should be closely monitored if allowed on the equipment. Those that can go on without supervision should have an occupancy limit. Too many bodies increase the likelihood of an accident.

What about behaviors? The thrill could get carried away into gymnastic flips. These are more dangerous. Is this permissible? Are spotters required? Don’t wait for it to happen to make a rule. Instead, speak up now, and then be prepared to enforce it. 

2. Inspect Equipment Regularly

The device takes a pounding from people and the environment. Check on it, looking to see that parts aren’t rusted over or breaking. The netting shouldn’t have holes, and trampoline springs should be functioning correctly. If not, seek assistance to replace things quickly. If it doesn’t look right, tell others to stay off.

3. Create Space and Barriers

At times, kids may fly into the netting, or they could hop out too quickly. For these and many other reasons, leave the perimeter clear of toys or other objects. In fact, pick up sticks that could be in the way. If someone fell, it could inflict injury. 

While you’re thinking about safety zones, also reflect on liability concerns. Trampoline users (and their afflictions) become homeowner responsibility. Your son’s best friend sprains his ankle. It’s on your property. The parents could ask for medical aid. You gave permission for the act, especially since it’s on your watch. What about trespassers? If the premises are open, anyone could have access. Even if you didn’t permit the jump, it’s on your land. The hurt party could seek compensation for medical treatment. Prevent his by putting up a fence.

Treasure the enjoyment of flying off the ground. Just also remember to put safety first.