In my march against corruption, it is not limited to social and political ills, although there are plenty around to attack. Lately, I have been on a rant about defective products as well as insufficient information about their function and safety. While it is not always a matter of serious injury or life-threatening peril, when it comes to children, any harm must be avoided no matter how small. Therefore, we have standards in this country about full disclosure. It is not so in countries like China where it was discovered that toys were made of deadly lead (or are painted with it). Nothing about the danger of sucking or biting into these toys is mentioned in the packaging. The consequence can be poisoning, illness, or death. Manufacturers think mistakenly that if there isn’t bad press, they can get away with their errant practices.
I know that kids love trampolines for fun and frolic. While adults enjoy the exercise (they produce a good sweat), children can bounce and rebounce forever. Witness the ubiquitous bouncy house found at their birthday parties. However, not much attention is given to their negative side. It is time someone exposes the truth about these playthings before a bad accident happens. Parents have their heads in the clouds about something seemingly harmless, perhaps because they think of trampolines as athletic equipment in mini size. In point of fact, the small ones are the worst. The larger sizes can accommodate a lot of flailing about and can support two or more children at once. Not so with the little ones. Kids can fall off and hit their heads on the rim of the device or an object nearby on the ground. If your Trampoline Choice is cheap and of poor quality, the tethers can break and the otherwise taut surface may cave in.
I feel that brochures that come with any size trampoline should have clear illustrations for the kids as well as written safety instructions for the parents. It comes down to ethics pure and simple. Let’s put pressure on the cheaters of the world to come clean. In the case of the trampolines, be honest about safety issues. They are not always associated with defects, but poor instruction in how to use the device. When it comes to a trampoline, there is a protocol of usage going from simple to more advanced moves. Starting with a knee tuck, the jumper can progress to half and full twists, seat landings, flips, somersaults, straddles, and pikes. As the moves become harder, the danger increases. You can injury a knee, an ankle, a calf muscle, or your back if you do not learn the proper posture, timing, and balance.
The rant is over and my words to parents with trampoline-loving kids is done. I hope you are heeding my words and putting a kibosh on usage until everything is better understood.