Springfree Trampoline

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Springfree Trampoline is a global company that manufactures recreational trampoline products and accessories. The unique Springfree design was invented by Dr. Keith Vivian Alexander, an associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.[1]

History[edit]

A springfree trampoline

After careful analysis of worldwide trampoline data in 1992 this initiated Dr Keith Vivian Alexander of Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand he revealed that there were 3 major impact zones to tradition trampoline designed by George Nissen in the 1930s; these impact zones would need to be engineered out in order to build the safest trampoline:

  1. The Springs - on the jumping surface
  2. The Steel Frame - on the jumping surface/ jumpers may fall and injure themselves
  3. The Ground or obstructions on the ground - jumpers would hit as a result of falling off

In 1999, he released his first prototype utilizing glass-reinforced plastic rods, with the first commercial versions began selling in late 2004. In 2009, the Springfree Trampoline won an Australian Design Award.[2]

Design[edit]

The most obvious difference between a Springfree Trampoline and the traditional trampoline design is the use of glass-reinforced plastic rods instead of steel coil springs. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 2001 there were 91,870 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with trampolines.[3]

Springfree Trampoline has successfully removed the 3 major impact zones: steel frame, springs and the ground. The Springfree trampoline uses rods to form a flexible soft edge resulting in the rigid frame being lowered around 450mm below the jumping surface. This removes two known hazards from the jumping surface - the rigid perimeter frame and the steel coil springs.[4][5]

Softedge Trampoline Technology (SET) as mentioned above has completely removed the need for a steel frame at the jumping surface to protect the jumper from falling and causing injury on the frame. The best way to remove hazards is to design them out completely, this is always superior to providing guards, pads or warnings.

Springfree Trampoline have designed a patented Flexinet to prevent jumpers from falling off the trampoline entirely; another point of difference with the Springfree enclosure net is the flexible enclosure rods compared to conventional trampolines, Springfree uses pultruded fiberglass flexible rods which flex away from the net and jumper on impact vs. conventional trampolines hold the enclosure nets up with steel poles which create the risk of a jumper hitting the steel pole that supports the net.

Eleven years of world class engineering and product development have removed all the traditional hazards of conventional trampolines and delivered to the market a vast improvement in one of the most popular pieces of play equipment that children experience[citation needed]. Springfree is one of the only companies that has meet the trampoline safety standards, but is the only one in the world that has endeavored to exceed them[citation needed] .

Associate Professor David Eager prepared a paper on ensuring compliance with Trampoline Safety Standards; he concluded that only one trampoline sold into the Australia market complies with the intent to Trampoline Safety Standards which is Springfree Trampoline.[6]

Injury statistics[edit]

Virginia Judge, Fair Trading Minister has ordered a review of the safety of backyard trampolines due to the concerns raised by child safety experts. They have concluded that around 15% of children are admitted to hospital following trampoline injuries; most of the injuries are from falling off the trampoline and 29% are from children falling into/onto the steel frame and springs of the trampoline [7]

A paper has been written on the effectiveness of Pads and Enclosure Nets as safety interventions on consumer trampolines. In 1998 the American Association of Pediatricians wanted to ban consumer trampolines because of the rising injury rate; the International Trampoline Industry Association (ITA) have endeavored to deliver safer trampolines, the ITA and American Society of Testing an Materials (ASTM) agreed on upgrading Trampoline Safety Standards. These improvements appeared in 1999 which included extended padding to cover the springs and the steel frame, warnings and no access to children under 6 and in 2001 enclosure nets were brought in to prevent falling off. See Figure 1 below it is questioned whether these interventions really work [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mech.canterbury.ac.nz/people/alexander.shtml Associate Professor Keith Alexander - University of Canterbury
  2. ^ http://www.designawards.com.au/application_detail.jsp?status=8&applicationID=4392&year=2009
  3. ^ http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/085.html
  4. ^ Keith Alexander, David Eager, Carl Scarrott, et al. "Effectiveness of pads and enclosures as safety interventions on consumer trampolines", British Medical Journal, November 29, 2009.
  5. ^ http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/085.html "Consumer Product Safety Alert - Trampoline Safety Alert
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]

External links[edit]