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Safety First

FUN is always a priority, but it’s never fun once someone gets hurt without a doubt. So to avoid some unwanted tears, here’s some quick and easy Vikan safety tips!

One At A Time
Although it may seem fun to go with a few friends or with mom or dad, but this can be more hazardous than most people think. The common thought about trampolines are injuries from falling off, but the most common trampoline injuries are twisted ankles. The majority of twisted ankles are from double bouncing. When you get propelled up from another bounce abruptly, it can result in spatial unawareness which leads to awkward landings. Therefore, the safest way to bounce is to take turns.

Bare Feet
Vikan mats (bouncing surfaces) prevent slipping to a degree due to our high performance textured material versus a non-textured material, but sometimes slips are unavoidable with socks. There are socks available with grips on the soles that trampoline parks use, but for backyard use, bare feet are your best option for avoiding unwanted slips.

Stay In the Middle
Encourage your child to stay in the middle of the trampoline. For one, it’s the best and bounciest spot! This will avoid falling off and getting too close to the steel frame and springs under that safety pads. A great way to ensure your child stays in the middle is to draw a smiley face in the center!

Motorcycle Stop
The first, most important skill to learn when bouncing on a trampoline, no matter what age you are, is the motorcycle stop. A motorcycle stop is used when you begin to bounce and want to stop. Instead of landing with your legs straight putting force and strain on your knees, make sure to land as if you are sitting on a motorcycle in a squat like position. This way the bounce force is eased and can prevent knee and back spinal strain injuries.

Have A Spotter
Especially when you have a young child, it is important to always supervise your child no matter what. Accidents are unavoidable so there must be someone watching in case something goes wrong. If you are attempting something new, make sure there is someone who knows and is trained to spot.

Don’t Overdo It
A backyard is a different situation from a gymnasium and sometimes your parent or supervisor cannot properly coach or spot you. If you have any doubt about a skill and think you are going to hurt yourself, take a break and don’t push yourself. Stick to what you know unless you feel completely comfortable and have been properly trained.

Step Off
Many trampoline injuries are not because of the trampoline, but rather have been jumped onto off of roofs and tree branches and flying off into a hospital bed. Jumping off the trampoline is also never a good idea. Take your time and carefully step off or use a ladder to safely touch back onto the ground.

Anything Under There?
Make sure there is nothing under the trampoline. The mat will not touch the ground, but bouncing and then hitting a hard object while performing a seat drop will not be a safe and happy landing.

Enclosure vs. No Enclosure?
Many worried parents hear about all the injuries ‘caused’ by trampolines, but is it really the trampoline? Trampolines are healthy and fun when used correctly. When safety precautions are not taken, is when accidents and injuries occur. So is an enclosure a must-have for safety? Well that can be debated. Sure an enclosure will protect your child from falling off, but that does not mean adult supervision is no longer necessary. Our kids can surprise us with their imaginations and try new things that may not be the safest idea. Even with enclosures, poor safety etiquette can occur. Although if you can’t help yourself, enclosures will provide a further sense of safety and can allow you to feel more at ease as a parent.

Trampoline canopy safety for kids

Watch Them Grow

As parents we want to do everything we can to provide our kids with what they need to live healthy, happy lives. A trampoline can not only provide ultimate outdoor fun for your child, but a variety of health benefits and a boost to help ease the stresses of school.

Bouncing on a trampoline can very much improve mental health. In recent years, mental health has become almost as important as our physical health. If we become too anxious or stressed out, it can be as hard to complete a task as when you are face with having common cold symptoms.

Learning ways to prevent overwhelming stress is vitally important for kids and can be easy as taking a break from homework that won’t seem to finish itself. A trampoline can provide a child with the confidence to finally solve that nasty math problem. For instance, we as people feel good from accomplishing tasks.

For a child, this may be seeing a parent or sibling do a simple seat-drop on the trampoline and thinking, “Woah! Cool I wanna try that!”. Once this child becomes the seat-drop master, their self-esteem skyrockets. In turn, this confidence can willingly help in the classroom or on the playground.

Resilience applies to stress and as a general term to persist. A trampoline can help build both meanings. Building resilience to stress can be related to gaining confidence and self-esteem as stated before. Furthermore, when we stress our bodies, it correlates with better coping with mental stress as well.

The more we exercise, the better the blood flow to the brain, which helps problem solving skills that can help to find answers to stressful life events. Children especially, will persist on jumping and not even notice that they are working their bodies because their mind is focused on the fun they are having.

Eyes on the Prize
A well gazed upon health benefit of bouncing on a trampoline is the elevation of ocular motor skills. Ocular motor skills, in simple terms, is the ability of our muscles and eyes to work as a team. This means that when kids have under developed ocular motor skills, it can lead to reading, writing, and staying focused.

Although in Dr. Kenneth A. Lane’s 2005 book, “Developing Ocular Motor and Visual Perceptual Skills: An Activity Workbook”, he suggests activities that can help improve coordination through body awareness (97-98). Bouncing on a trampoline increases ocular and vestibular skills – a sense of balance that comes from the inner ear – which helps with coordination. A great activity that Lane mentions, is to play catch with a beanbag while your child bounces on the trampoline.

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Take a Break!

From The Experts
In recent research at Western University, a new study in 2017 has shown that just 10 minutes of moderate physical activity can have immediate benefits on the brain. The study conducted showed that just after 10 minutes of exercise, reaction times were heightened and people experienced up to a 14% increase in cognitive function. That being said, a 10 minute bounce might be the best solution to that built up stress about the hefty exam that you procrastinated studying for that’s in the next few days…perhaps?

At Vikan trampolines, we understand how busy people can get with constant work, various obligations, simply being a parent, and of course how overwhelming exam season can be. Although no matter how busy you get, it’s important to give yourself a break!

Take A 10-minute Bounce
So take a break from the books, and refresh your mind with a quick 10 minute bounce on your backyard Vikan trampoline! Based on personal and countless stories from Vikan owners, a quick bounce right before you go to write a test can ease a lot of anxiety surrounding the ‘test’ and boost your mood, so you can focus on the real task at hand.

University of Western Ontario. “Short-term exercise equals big-time brain boost: Even a one-time, brief burst of exercise can improve focus, problem-solving.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171221122543.htm.