Only 1 trampoline met all the critical safety checks in a test by Consumer NZ. Of 7 models tested, only the Springfree, a soft-edge trampoline with its frame and springs beneath the jumping mat, passed all impact, structural and entrapment tests.
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Three trampolines, available for less than $350, including models from The Warehouse and Kmart, all had serious failures.
All tested trampolines had a fixed safety enclosure. The safety failures of 6 of the 7 models were concerning because they could cause injury to kids inside the enclosure: none of the 6 could stop a child from hitting the structure with a sufficient force to cause head injury, while 2 had accessible gaps where a child could get their head, limbs or fingers trapped.
In 2016, 11,580 trampoline-related injuries were reported to ACC, nearly 4000 more than in 2013. Consumer NZ head of testing Paul Smith says: “Though many injuries are down to how we use trampolines – we don’t always stick to one-at-a-time supervised bouncing – that’s no excuse. A poor trampoline design makes it even less safe to use.”
Consumer NZ based its testing on the Australian safety standard for trampolines, as there’s no longer a New Zealand standard. “There was one, but it hadn’t been updated since 1997 and was retired in 2015,” Dr Smith says.
Ironically, the emergence of soft-edge trampolines was partly why the New Zealand standard was retired. “It didn’t keep pace with trampoline design. But we can see no reason why the Australian standard isn’t adopted here.”
This isn’t the first time Consumer NZ has found safety problems with trampolines. In 2012, a test of 5 brands turned up a disappointingly similar result. In that test, only the Springfree model passed with no major safety issues.
For the full test results, see our trampolines report.