Safe bouncing
Backyard trampoline sales tripled during the 1990s, as did the number of trampoline-related accidents. As a result, the Consumer Product Safety Commission got together with trampoline manufacturers to come up with new safety standards. New regulations require manufacturers to use padding to cover metal frames, hooks, and springs, and to add warning labels on the dangers of having more than one child on a trampoline at a time (over half of all injuries occur when there are multiple jumpers on a trampoline). Although everyone agrees safety is the main concern here, the industry looks at the issue differently. "Proportionately, trampoline injuries are on the decline," says Jaymie Shepherd, of JumpKing, one of the largest trampoline makers in the U.S. "Injuries are up, but trampoline sales have gone up much more." According to the industry, the injury rate is decreasing, from 3 percent of users in 1989 to 0.76 percent in 1998. Shepherd urges parents to educate themselves and their kids on trampoline safety and to strictly enforce all safety rules. She also recommends perimeter safety nets ($199.95) that keep jumpers from falling off. The nets can also be closed and locked when the trampoline is not in use. Also, always supervise kids when they use the trampoline, keep them from doing somersaults and make sure the trampoline is set up away from other structures.
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