Question regarding trampolines.
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  1. #1
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    Default Question regarding trampolines.

    Im due an inspection anytime over the next 18 months. I had a visit from my local childminding support worker (From the council) last week. Im pleased to say that there was very little that she needed to support me with
    Anyway, she said about my trampoline, Its 10ft, has a full net enclosure, padded springs etc. Basically as safe as possible. I had the trampoline before childminding and tbh I hadn't really thought about the age suitability. Its meant to be age 6 years and over. Now, all of my minded children use it - even the toddlers, its never been an issue with parents. Haven't had any accidents (so far). I didn't give it a thought that the younger ones shouldn't be on it. I just thought everyone allowed children of all ages on so didn't think.
    She said I either needed to stop the younger ones using it - bearing in mind I have a three year old who has been with me for two years and loves the trampoline (don't they all) or get rid of it. I explained that I have my own children who the trampoline belongs to and it would be unfair for them to lose it. She just shrugged her shoulders.
    I have a garden toy policy but not a specific trampoline one, so asked if I could write a carefully worded policy and get parents to sign a permission form allowing the children to use it. Her reply was "It'll be on your head".
    She was talking about me getting sued if a child has an accident and that my insurance may not cover me if I've allowed a younger child to use it. Even the "My first trampolines" are age 3 plus. Does that mean that I have to strictly keep to the age recommendation on all toys then? Surely we look at stage of development more than a manufacturers age recommendation? i.e if a scooter says 3+ I shouldn't let an able 2 year old use it?

    What do other people do? Do you not have trampolines?

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    You need to phone your insurance company and ask. It is up to them, no opinion here is going to count if you have an accident on your hands.

    If insurer says it is OK for under-6s ask for it in writing and keep on file in case of any queries. If they do not, then you have your answer.

    Trampolines can be lethal. Sad but true and if it means that it has to be out-of-bounds in working hours then that is how it has to be.

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    I don't have a trampoline, I personally don't think they are safe without adequate supervision. ( and that is 2 people ... 1 for either side minimum ) I know a childminder who broke her neck on a trampoline with a safety net ... She slipped and bounced into the net. Fortunately she is ok now.

    You would have to speak to your insurance company but I am pretty sure they will say that regardless of what parents say/sign you must not allow children younger than 6 to use the trampoline.

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    Moggy, I wasn't really after opinions on my situation - more what other people do. Thanks for the advice

    loocyloo. Im pleased that your friend is ok now.

    Seems very cruel to fence it off - I'll have to do that. My children have the right to their own toys too. I don't have any over 6's in my setting so I wont have issues with who is allowed on it.

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    We have a trampoline (belongs to my children and was bought before I started minding). It is strictly off limits to mindees. It is not fenced off but the LOs are never left unsupervised in the garden and wouldn't be able to climb up to it. I also made it clear to parents when they visited and in my RAs that it wasn't used during working hours. So far, it hasn't been an issue with my children wanting to play on it when I'm working but I was very clear from the beginning with them. It's a tricky one for you, as the children are used to playing on it and it will be hard to tell them 'no'.
    Last edited by sing-low; 18-02-2015 at 10:17 PM.

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    I was told on course insurance would only allow one child at a time and age restriction likely to apply...I'd love a trampoline for my lo but haven't got one as don't want to not allow him on it in cm time, he won't want to use it without his friends, luckily he's young enough he never had one so doesn't know what he's missing!
    Call insurance to double check, seems a bit mad when kids can all pile in a bouncy castle or on the trampolines at gymnastics and softplay we go to but maybe their insurance allows for it??

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    yes that's my issue, that so far, I've allowed them on it. Im cross with myself for not thinking about the age recommendation. If I'd purchased it since childminding I would have seen. I've been minding three years, Ofsted have inspected me, support lady has been out a few times, it's never been mentioned. Parents have no issue with their children using it. My own little boy is three, its his favourite thing out there. Maybe i'll buy a 'my first trampoline' so the three year old I mind can still use one.

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    Alex, yes the one at a time we do. They are used to that.
    My little boy is three but I also have teenage children, we got the trampoline about 5 years ago so all my other children were over six. It didnt even occur to me not to let my own son or minded children on there. Of course I know it can be dangerous but they are supervised and at 2/3 they are hardly summersaulting on there!

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    You might not want to hear this. But trampolines for mindees are bad news. I won't let mine use trampolines outside my setting either. They can use them with their own parents. You can't make parents sign anything as it won't be worth the paper it is written on. Best to NOT let mindees use a trampoline at all. If you are letting toddlers use a 6+ trampoline then you won't have a leg to stand on legally if anything happens.
    Not worth taking the risk.
    Need a laugh? Visit my website: www.unclegargy.deviantART.com

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    You may find this information useful:

    Trampoline Safety | Advice & Information | Leisure Safety | RoSPA

    As a parent we may follow a childs development skills in accessing equipment rather than the age range recomended by the manufacturer, but we take that risk.

    As a professional, a childminder cannot take that risk. Manufacturers spend time researching and checking age suitability and put it on toys and equipment for a reason.

    I don't have a trampoline but I do follow the manufacturers recomendation for suitability with most of my other equipment. My insurance would be invalid if I didn't. In my past life I have experienced parents suing you following an accident but have always had a H&S officer working on my behalf, I do not want to put myself in a vulnerable position so it's easier to stick to the recommendations and RA everything. I can assure you from my H&S training, that the nicest parents in the world will soon challenge if their child has an accident that they think could have been prevented - especially in this world of suing and compensation claims.

    Some people make a lot of money out of minor accidents. It isn't legal to do this but 'ambulance chasers' exist to persuade parents to take legal action.
    My son ( during his alevel exam period!) played football in our town centre park after school. A bunch of lads, couldn't wait their turn to use an outdoor football training area ....couldn't be bothered to walk 300yds to a vast field to play football...decided to play on a bit of green area that was well sign posted 'Do not play ball games' .
    At the edge the council had repositioned a bin and the concrete base was still there, my son kicked the base ( it had a few wisps of grass growing around it ) and broke his toe. We took him to the local hospital and whilst we were waiting and discussing how it happened a gentleman approached us to let us know that we could claim compensation!
    He left his card...my son's eyes lit up...the possibility of gaining some money out of it ..how great is that! I was furious, my son had blatantly ignored the sign and played where he shouldn't ...why should he then be given money? What message was that giving out? We ignored this gentlemans advice ....a week later we returned to the hospital, I left son sitting whilst I checked in for him as he was by then on crutches ...when I returned ..this same gentleman was talking to my son again...this time he was concerned that the school were not giving him all the support he needed during his exams as it was obviously uncomfortable to be sitting exams in his condition!...
    I chased him away, the school had been very supportive and had done everything they could.
    When son was in with the doctor this gentleman approached again ! This time to tell me that my son was actually 18 and could do what he wanted ....without his meddling mothers permission!

    My point to this long story is that I think if I had been a parent where the compensation money would have got me out of a financial hole....would I have gone along with this insurance claim chap? I was full of moral points on not rewarding my son for doing something he shouldn't have...how many parents would have taken this point? Despite my claims that I felt the school had done their utmost, I obviously was in support of the school and as a colleague of the headteacher, would not have wanted to suggest otherwise, a parent who didn't support the school in the first place may not have felt the same, thinking this insurance chap would know better.

    In my RA's I always take into consideration manufacturers information...this weasly little man haunts my thoughts and sits on my shoulder as I think...what would he say ? What loophole would he find? How would he get one of my parents to sign up to claim compensation from me!

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    I'm in the same position as you....I've only had an initial ofsted inspection (pre-reg) and she didn't even mention the trampoline, neither has my DO. I have a policy on it, supervise, etc etc but if we shouldn't be using it I'll be in the same awkward position where they already have been. Arghh!

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    I suppose, strictly speaking, we should keep to the age recommendation on toys.

    Trouble is, aside from 'baby toys', virtually everything is "not suitable for children under 3 years." In practical terms, this means a child could be 13 months away from stating school and still not allowed to play with anything more adventurous than Mr Hopsy the fluffy babysafe bunny. (This will be the case for one of my mindees in a few years time, as his birthday is 30th August.)

    No idea where we stand with Forest school, natural play, junk modelling, etc. I can't say as I've ever seen any parental advisory stuff on a stick.

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    We have never had a trampoline here but I did inquire with my insurance for using them when out and about and even for over 7s it was a huge increase in my policy cost so I just don't allow children to use then. I have to say I tend not to go to places with them if I can help it, much prefer the allotment or woods x

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    Anyway, who needs a trampoline when they can be trashing the sofa?

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    Lol bunyip x no we don't jump on sofa but do jump on balloons, cardboard boxes, a cushion pile, stepping stones, old garden chair cushions, sand at the beach and puddles, on and off banks, logs, stumps, in and out of hoops, over rope, and dance and jump to music.

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    Your insurance will say that you have to follow manufacturers instructions and if you do not then you will not be insured, whether you have parental permission or not. So if it states no younger than 6 you will not be insured if a child uses it under this age and if you do have an accident and parents have to be off work, believe me friendship will go out of the window and they will sue you. Is loosing your house really worth it?

    I brought a small hand held trampoline from Amazon for £25 for the younger ones
    Debbie

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  24. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatterbox Childcare View Post
    Your insurance will say that you have to follow manufacturers instructions and if you do not then you will not be insured, whether you have parental permission or not. So if it states no younger than 6 you will not be insured if a child uses it under this age and if you do have an accident and parents have to be off work, believe me friendship will go out of the window and they will sue you. Is loosing your house really worth it?

    I brought a small hand held trampoline from Amazon for £25 for the younger ones
    You'll also negate your insurance if you let more than one child on at a time. Despite all the warnings, I keep seeing trampolines with 2 or more children on, and it sickens me. The risk of collision and concussions/compressions is the least of the worries. Parents seem oblivious to the fact that children can suffer severe spinal damage or even paralysis from this seemingly innocuous shared bouncing pleasure.

    I simply won't have one. Why take up the entire garden for one toy that lets one child jump up and down, or puts as many as you like in danger?

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    I had one with net etc, and it had a one child at a time caution......I hate all the problems it brings, too many trying to get in, the zipping up and unzipping of the net.........it was bought for my children by their grandparents.....The net on the door has now split and cannot be repaired safely, so I am scrapping the whole thing and getting rid of it!


    will be glad to see the back of it!

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    My friends 4yo granddaughter suffered a greenstick fracture of her leg bouncing on her cousin's trampoline - it had a net, there was only one child on it - It was the actual force of bouncing that caused the greenstick fracture, she is an average size 4yo, not heavy, not tall, not short, not skinny, it was purely that her skeletal development was not ready for a trampoline, doctors said is relatively common with children under 6 using trampolines.

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    I totally agree with Floradora.

    Parents can turn quite nasty if their child suffers an accident.

    There also was that poor cm a few years back who got closed down etc because a parent sued her for an accident on the trampoline :-(
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

 

 
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