With their appeal to both kids and grown-ups, trampoline parks are popular without a doubt. They are fun, go-to venues where people of all ages can enjoy themselves. In spite of their attraction, what many don’t know about these attractions are the countless injuries children suffer every year at these facilities.
Children at Higher Risk for Injury
Related injuries are now higher than ever. A 2016 study published in Pediatrics revealed that trampoline-park related hospitalizations grew from 600 in 2010 to nearly 7,000 in 2014.
Sprains and fractures are the most common injuries both at home and in gyms. Indoor park-goers mostly suffer dislocations and lower-extremity injuries while those with home trampolines are more likely to experience upper-extremity and head injuries.
Children especially are at great risk for injury. “Their bones are still growing,” explained Orthopedic surgeon and founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care, Armin Tehrany. Jumping at high heights and impact upon landing puts tremendous stress on their developing bodies.
Are Trampoline Parks Liable?
Repeated stress on developing bones is not the only cause of injury for younger kids. Park staff typically do not monitor risky participant behavior and instead rely upon waivers to protect their liability.
In November 2017, 13-year-old gymnast Chelsea Zeolla visited the Flight Fit N Fun trampoline park in New Britain, Connecticut. Chelsea attempted a move that she had done many times before, yet it resulted in a trip to the emergency room.
“I was going to do a flip and in the middle of the flip I didn’t commit fully and like, I ended up diving into the trampoline – I guess you could say, so I put my arm out to stop myself but then it went a little wrong,” Zeolla explained.
Chelsea’s arm broke instantly. After being treated at the ER, she had a pair of pins inserted that later had to be surgically removed.
Zeolla was not the only one to suffer from injuries sustained at the Flight Fit N Fun. She and a total of 388 others were hurt at the same park in 2017, most of them children with many sustaining serious injuries.
How Injuries Happen on Trampolines
Certain maneuvers increase the chances of sustaining serious injuries from trampolines, including:
Double bouncing. This happens when one person lands while the other attempts to jump. If there is a large difference in weight between the two jumpers, double-bouncing can send the lighter jumper flying.
Falling off. Hitting the ground can lead to serious physical harm, depending on how the jumper lands. If barriers are not properly placed, injury from impact is very likely.
Falling onto springs. If a spring-based trampoline is ripped or not properly covered, it is possible for a jumper to land onto unpadded metal springs.
Doing somersaults. Even if your child is a skilled gymnast like Chelsea, it is possible to land wrong and become injured in the process.
Striking another person. Colliding with another person while jumping can cause harm upon impact or cause jumpers to fall off.
If you own a trampoline at home or if you can’t avoid a birthday party at a park or gymnastics facility, a few safety tips can help keep your kids safe.
- Watch your kids at all times when they are jumping, whether at home or in public.
- Try to limit use to one jumper at a time.
- Visit trampoline parks at less busy times.
- Don’t allow somersaults or flips of any kind.
- Separate younger children from bigger kids.
- Limit use to children over 6.
- Avoid loose-fitting clothing, remove eyewear, footwear, and jewelry, and empty your pockets.
- Don’t allow food, drink, bottles, glasses, etc. onto trampolines.
- Ensure springs are covered with padding.
- Inspect regularly for holes.
- Place an enclosure around home trampolines to avoid potential falls.
Was Your Child Injured? Help is Available
While you may have signed a waiver releasing a trampoline park from liability for potential injuries, compensation may be available for your child’s suffering. A park or gym can be held responsible for negligence if their equipment was damaged or if employees failed to properly supervise minors using trampolines. In instances where your child was injured at home due to a defective home trampoline, the manufacturer may be held accountable.
If you or your child was injured on poorly maintained, defective or damaged equipment at a trampoline park or from lack of supervision by park staff, we want to hear from you. Your child may be entitled to compensation to help pay for ambulance rides, surgery or other medical bills. The legal team at The Flood Law Firm offers a risk-free consultation at no cost to help you understand your legal options. Call us today at 860-346-2695 to determine if your child qualifies for compensation.