When I was a kid I can remember jumping on a trampoline without any safety features what so ever. There was no sort or trampoline padding or safety netting, it was just the mat and springs. Of course as kids you don’t pay attention to the safety aspect of things and after a few injuries we weren’t allowed to play on it anymore. It seemed like every couple of weeks something happened and someone got hurt. Thankfully no one was seriously injured but thinking back now they very well could have been. Today’s trampolines provide a better measure of safety than older models.
Having exposed springs on a trampoline is dangerous, a child could jump to close to the edge and fall into the springs possibly doing all sorts of muscle damage. The trampoline padding starts at the edge of the trampoline mat and goes to the outer edge of the frame. This protects the child from the springs and gives protection against falls onto the frame of the trampoline.
Another safety feature that was implemented not long ago is trampoline netting. This netting completely surrounds the trampoline and keeps kids from jumping off the trampoline. Usually the netting is sold separately from the trampoline. Having this netting increases safety of the trampoline significantly. While the netting is designed to keep children from falling off or jumping off the trampoline, they do not need to depend on it. Such as jumping against the netting to see if it will throw them back on the trampoline.
Its always a good idea to check your trampoline for wear occasionally. Being that the trampoline is outside and in the elements, it is subject to rust, dry rot, and tears. It’s important to inspect the mat for rips and tears and signs of dry rot. You also need to check the frame for rust and damaged parts or bolts. Testing the strength of the netting and support for the netting is a good idea too. Just keep in mind what each safety device is there for and ask yourself if it will perform like it was designed to.