Trampoline Parks – The Dangers You Want to Know About
June 30, 2017 • Personal Injury
Trampoline parks seem to be cropping up everywhere. In 2011, a mere 40 parks existed in the United States, by 2014 that number had increased to 280. Understandably, the ability to bounce around and fly high is alluring to kids, especially teenagers. While these parks are enticing, they are also dangerous. A recent article Flying-High Danger by Thomas A. Crosley, published in Trial Magazine highlights many of these dangers.
6,932 children went to the Emergency Room for trampoline-related injuries in 2014. This astronomical number represents a twelvefold increase from the 581 trampoline-related ER visits by children in 2010.
Trampoline Park Dangers
Why are trampoline parks so dangerous? Injuries from backyard trampolines are not on the rise. There are unique dangers present at trampoline parks, some obvious and some hidden.
Here are a few reasons why trampoline parks pose a particular danger to patrons:
- Multiple jumpers often occupy the same trampoline resulting in injuries from collisions.
- Often jumpers are not separated by age or size, endangering smaller children.
- Trampolines in parks are often far larger than backyard trampolines, allowing for higher and more dangerous jumps.
- Playing sports, such as dodge ball or basketball, on trampolines is common at these parks. These sports when coupled with trampolines create new and unexpected dangers.
- The sheer size of trampoline parks makes them dangerous: the average park is 25,000 to 40,000 square feet making it difficult to monitor the entire facility.
- “Jump Guards” at facilities often have little or no training.
Trampoline parks are largely unregulated. The sharp increase of trampoline parks opening around the nation prompted an industry response to expand trade groups. Two such groups are the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IIAAPA). These organizations have created a list of best practices, which trampoline parks are encouraged to follow. However, these rules are not mandatory in most states and are not mandatory in Nebraska. In addition, many of these rules were written by industry insiders and often times ignore many of the important safety risks and dangers of trampoline parks.
In the absence of proper regulation, trampoline parks are left to determine how often to inspect their equipment, how to maintain the equipment, what first-aid procedures to implement, and how to train their jump guards. Though, parks have a duty of care to their patrons. They must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their facilities. But unfortunately, thousands of injuries, some very serious, are happening at parks across the nation.
Trampoline Park Injuries
The most common cause of injuries is hidden and unexpected. There is enormous energy built up in a trampoline “bounce”. When two jumpers are on the same trampoline, or in trampolines adjacent to each other, that energy can be transferred from one trampoline to the next. If a jumper lands on the trampoline at the wrong moment, that energy is not transferred in the form of a “bounce” but can be the equivalent of falling onto hard pavement. Trampoline park injuries include torn ligaments, broken bones, skull fractures, and head injuries. Some kids have been very seriously injured at trampoline parks. In some cases, juries have awarded millions of dollars. If you are considering venturing into a trampoline park, be aware of the dangers. If you or your child have been injured at a trampoline park, we encourage you to consult with a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case.
All of us here at Matthew G. Miller are highly experienced, skilled, and compassionate advocates for our clients. We’re dedicated to making a difference in the life of each person we represent. Combined our attorneys of Matthew G. Miller have more than 50- years of successful personal injury advocacy that is demonstrated by numerous testimonials.
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