Consumer NZ has found safety issues with three out of four trampolines it tested.
While the New Zealand-made Springfree trampoline passed with flying colours, models sold under the Jumpflex, Kmart and Little Nation brands all chalked up failures.
The consumer watchdog tested the trampolines against the current voluntary Australian safety standard, assessing the padding and structural integrity, as well as strangulation and entrapment hazards.
The Jumpflex Flex 100 City, Kmart 12-foot Springless, and Little Nation 10-foot trampoline were all found to have major or minor failures.
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The results have prompted a call for regulation of the backyard favourite, with Springfree New Zealand general manager Megan McKenzie saying the Government must bring in a mandatory trampoline safety standard.
Consumer NZ found safety issues with three out of the four trampolines it tested. (File photo)
Trampolines of any quality can be sold regardless of how much risk they present to children. Unfortunately there are quite a few hazardous trampolines on the market.
McKenzie said New Zealand’s original trampoline safety standard was last updated in 1997 and only required a trampoline edge to be padded which was never enforced.
The voluntary standard was removed in 2015, since the regulations were ignored and ineffective, with the idea that they would be replaced by the Australian standard but this never happened.
In the last five years 67,304 trampoline accidents requiring medical attention were reported to ACC.
More than 12,000 of those injury claims occurring in 2020 at a cost of just over $10.5 million.
ACC data showed children and teenagers were more at risk, with the majority of injuries occurring in those aged 14 or below.
Keith Alexander, the inventor of Springfree trampolines, says many trampolines carry confusing and misleading labels. (File photo)
Injuries range from neck, head and limb fractures, lacerations, haematomas, soft tissue injuries, internal organ injuries, dislocations and concussions.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, closed borders means more Kiwis are spending money at home including on entertainment purchases like pools, spas and trampolines.
Springfree has seen a 30 per cent spike in sales from 2020 compared with the previous year.
McKenzie said people buying trampolines needed to be aware of the serious dangers associated with some products on the market.
The consequences for people, especially children, could be even higher if the Government does not implement a mandatory safety standard.
Professor Keith Alexander, inventor of the Springfree trampoline and professor of engineering at Canterbury University, said beyond children over-extending themselves, there were three main causes of injury on a trampoline: falling-off, impact with the frame or springs, and colliding with other children.
Most families will see a trampoline that has padding over the springs, and nets to prevent falling off, and assume that this makes it safe, but in some trampolines these essential safety features are only cosmetic and will quickly deteriorate or fail with use,” he said.
Trampolines where the company has built to global standards, will clearly state these on their website and packaging.
Many trampolines carried confusing labelling that referred to a universal manufacturing standard or said the trampoline complies with all standards but this was misleading and gave people a false assurance of safety, Alexander said.