When thinking about buying a trampoline you have to consider many factors form the size that you have in your backyard, to the age and size of your children. But something that often gets overlooked is the best shape to choose. This is not just a cosmetic difference a round trampoline is much more stable and safe than a traditional rectangle one.
When it comes to shape you really you have to go for a round trampoline if you can get your hands on one. They are much safer as the bounce rate doesn't vary as much as a rectangle shaped on, on a rectangular tramp you will bounce much faster and higher in he corners than in the middle of the mat due to the different distances away from the springs. On a round mat the space between the springs is evenly spread out around the circumference of the trampoline and reduces this high variance.
This difference in the bounce rate is dangerous because your children may not be expecting this difference and can over jump and land dangerously. This is one of the key causes of injuries.
Another point in favour of the round trampoline is the stability of the shape. Due too the elongated nature of a rectangle they are not as stable as a circle (well not when you are jumping up and down on it anyway!!). The round trampoline distributes the weight of the people on the trampoline more evenly and the trampoline is a lot less likely to tip over. If you have a heavier person jumping on the mat and they take a big jump on only one end of the trampoline it is highly likely to tip over.
Something that you should always consider with any toys for your children is the safety equipment. And whilst you can get ladders and spring safety pads for a rectangle trampolines they are very difficult to add a safety net to0. And I would never recommend that anyone buy their children a trampoline that came without a safety net.
No matter what trampoline you purchase please consider the safety of your children. Because when done correctly and with the right equipment it is a fantastic toy and piece of exercise equipment that will get your children outside.
Sam Philp is a business graduate from Swinburne University in Victoria, Australia. Sam is a leading expert on health and fitness issues and is passionate about encouraging children to exercise you can read more of his writings at Easy Trampolines and please feel free to contact him with any further questions that you may have.