As every kid knows, warm, sunny days are perfect for getting out and playing on the trampoline. But many parents worry about how their trampoline is affected by all that time in the sun. How the trampoline itself holds up is one thing, but the main concern is whether or not it will be safe for the kids. It’s not uncommon for playsets and other outdoor equipment to become hot to the touch after sitting in the sun – so what about trampolines?
Trampolines can get hot from being in the sun for extended periods – particularly the metal components like the frame and springs. This can be dangerous for the jumpers and degrade the trampoline itself over time. Fortunately, steps can be taken to protect against the risks of heat and sun exposure.
How the Sun Affects Trampoline Components
Trampolines are designed to withstand plenty of exposure to the elements – but they do have their limitations. Eventually, they’ll begin to wear out. And aside from hurricanes, blizzards, and extreme cold, nothing wears out a trampoline faster than the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays. Here’s a look at how sunlight affects different aspects of a trampoline, not just in terms of wear but also in terms of conducting heat.
Trampoline mats are typically made from a polypropylene or nylon weave. Sunlight and heat can cause the fabric to fade, dry out, and degrade over time. Most higher-quality mats are treated with a UV-resistant coating to help prevent this, but it can only go so far, especially against consistent prolonged exposure.
Jumping mats are almost always black, and as many of us know, black materials tend to absorb more heat. This is because they absorb all wavelengths of light rather than reflecting some of them, as lighter colors do. The light is then converted to heat energy. So it would make sense to assume that the jumping mat would get very hot in the sun, right? Well, it depends.
Thanks to its chemical makeup, polypropylene can absorb heat without getting much hotter. In other words, it won’t burn you on contact. Nylon, on the other hand, tends to heat up significantly as it absorbs heat energy, making it hot to the touch. The breathability of the mat fabric also plays a part – more breathable weaves and materials will ventilate heat more easily, keeping them relatively cool.
For the most part, it’s fairly unlikely that a jumping pad will get hot enough to cause burn – but it doesn’t hurt to carefully test it with your hand before letting your kids hop on and play.
Springs & Frame
Trampoline frames and springs are most commonly made from galvanized steel. While galvanized steel is virtually impervious to UV light and extreme temperatures, it can get extremely hot in the sun. The frame legs will be partially shaded and transfer some of their heat into the ground, making them less of a risk for burns. The real danger is with the upper frame, springs, and the V-rings that attach the springs to the mat.
How To Keep Your Trampoline From Getting Too Hot
Fortunately, there are several ways to help prevent burns and protect your trampoline from harsh sunlight. Many people are tempted to set up a sprinkler or hose down the trampoline to cool it off. As fun and refreshing as this may be on a hot summer day, keep in mind that a wet trampoline mat can be very slippery, increasing the likelihood of injuries. So here are a few safer and more reliable ways to keep your trampoline cool.
The first way to keep your trampoline cool is to limit the amount of direct sunlight it’s exposed to. This could mean moving it to a shadier location in the yard (particularly one that gets shade in the hottest part of the day). Of course, it should have plenty of space on every side and there should be no branches or power lines directly overhead.
You can also purchase a trampoline canopy that fits over your perimeter net to enclose the jumping area. This will provide shade for the jumpers as well as the trampoline itself. However, it may only be practical for younger kids – taller jumpers run the risk of hitting their heads on the canopy on higher bounces.
Another great benefit of shade is that it will help protect any jumpers from overheating and sunburns – but it’s still a good idea to limit playtime, ensure adequate hydration, and watch out for symptoms of heat exhaustion on particularly hot days.
Another way to help prevent metal components like the frame and springs from getting too hot is to put a quality spring pad around the perimeter. This will shield them from direct sunlight and also make it difficult for anyone to have direct contact with them.
Of course, the spring cover itself might end up getting quite hot in the sun, particularly if it’s a dark color or made from nylon – but it’s definitely the lesser of two evils in this case.
Another way to help keep your trampoline cool is to keep it covered when it’s not in use. A durable, weather-resistant trampoline cover that covers the entire surface area of the trampoline as well as the frame, will protect it from direct sunlight. The metal components may still get warm, but not quite as hot as they would from direct sunlight. It will also shield the mat from UV degradation.
Trampoline components can get pretty hot after sitting in the sun for hours on end – especially those made from metal, nylon, or other heat-conducting materials. Except in very hot climates, it’s unlikely that the jumping pad will get hot enough to cause burns, but it can still wear out faster as a result of exposure to sunlight. The metal frame, springs, and V-rings, on the other hand, can cause serious burns.
That’s why it’s so important for trampoline owners to use one or more methods (shade, spring pads, and covers) to protect their trampolines and prevent burns.
Thanks for reading!