Once the domain of suburban backyards, the modern trampoline has become a…
Think Before You Bounce - Trampoline Park Injuries Mounting
Once the domain of suburban backyards, the modern trampoline has become a big business over the past decade with the number of trampoline parks opening at a rapid and growing rate nationwide and internationally. It is estimated that by the end of 2015 there will be over 550 indoor trampoline parks open worldwide. Here in Florida, there are nearly 20 that we know of. Unfortunately, the fun can quickly turn frighteningly dangerous.
In nearly every city where a trampoline park has opened, area emergency rooms and physicians report a boost in the number of patients presenting with trampoline injuries. In fact, in each of a number of recent years, nearly 100,000 people were hospitalized for injuries sustained in trampoline accidents nationwide. While most of these accidents involve family-owned backyard trampolines, a growing number are occurring at trampoline parks.
Common trampoline park injuries include fractures to the upper and lower extremities, head and neck injuries, muscle sprains and cervical spine injuries, which are rare but typically devastating. Many injuries require hospitalization and surgery. In one recent incident a physically fit young mother suffered an injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down while celebrating her son's seventh birthday at a Texas trampoline park. Arizona recently passed a bill known as Ty's law, named for a 30-year-old man who suffered head trauma jumping into shallow pit of foam blocks, a popular feature at trampoline parks. The law requires trampoline park operators to keep an insurance policy of at least $1 million dollars for bodily injuries, submit to annual inspections by insurers and maintain emergency-call logs for the past two years. And in Scotland, one trampoline park recently was forced to close after 100 accidents were reported in just three weeks.
If you or your children visit a trampoline park, keep these safety tips in mind:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under age six never be allowed on a trampoline, as they don't yet have sufficient balance and can't react properly when they start to fall.
- Assure that the trampoline park you want to visit has different areas designated for visitors of different sizes, weights and age groups and make sure that your children follow applicable rules.
- Allow only one jumper on a trampoline at a time, as more than half of trampoline injuries involve collisions with other jumpers.
- Never allow a minor to jump on a trampoline or visit a trampoline park unattended and insist that your children not attempt tricks for which they're not trained, such as flips.
- Before patronizing a trampoline park, ask whether employees onsite are trained in first aid and assure that customers receive safety training before being allowed to jump.
Keep in mind that trampoline parks are not characterized as amusement parks because they lack moving parts. Thus, there exists no federal or Florida regulation of these parks, which means that you truly do jump at your own risk. However, if an injury is the result of negligence on the part of the park or its staff, it may fall under premises liability or personal injury law and victims may be entitled to legal and financial compensation.
If you or your children are injured while jumping at a trampoline park, report the incident to staff and get medical treatment immediately. Then, contact an experienced personal injury attorney with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995.