Trampoline Park Safety
There has been a significant increase in serious trampoline park injuries occurring from trampoline use every year. Trampoline parks are largely unregulated and they decide about equipment inspections, equipment maintenance, jump guard training, and first-response procedures. Common injuries include torn muscles, sprains, dislocations, and severe fractures. These injuries led to many people question trampoline park safety and to potential trampoline park lawsuits.
Trampoline Park Safety Concerns
Today there are over 800 trampoline parks in the United States. While trampolines are used by children for fun, they can lead to injuries. However, the trampoline industry addressed certain safety measures with the implementation of the same. Following the safety standards, the concerned authority issued a revision regarding the safety and performance standards.
The recommendations include:
- Extension of padding to the springs and frame
- High-quality padding should be used
- Exclusion of ladders to help prevent kids from accessing the trampoline
- New equipment should come with printed warnings that restrict multiple jumpers, somersaulting, and limiting the use to young children from six years and above
Moreover, the equipment sold over the past several years has to be considered. Trampolines that were manufactured and sold during 1989 have a life expectancy of about 10 years. Whereas, the ones sold in 2004 has only 5 years. Also, the warranty for the mat and frame was found higher compared to the enclosure nets and padding. It means, they need to be replaced during the lifetime of the equipment.
Trampoline Park Dangers
- Multiple jumpers can cause collisions.
- Playing sports, such as dodgeball and basketball, are fast and direction changing activities, bringing unexpected dangers.
- Sometimes trampoline jumpers are not separated by age, size, and weight, creating unexpected forces.
- Trampoline guards often have little training.
- Landing incorrectly due to manufacturer defect or other’s negligence.
Mechanisms of Trampoline-Related Injury
Falls from a trampoline – Fall from greater heights can be accounted for 27% to 39% of all trampoline-related injuries. The risk arises because of the “off-balance” bounce that the equipment delivers when place on uneven surfaces. So, children might get injured if they come in contact with ground obstacles or nearby trees. However, netting and enclosures help prevent falls. But children are tempted to grasp or climb the netting and that can be an added source of injury.
Multiple users at the same time – several kinds of research have revealed that about three-quarters of injuries occur when many people are using the equipment simultaneously. Moreover, heavier users create a greater upward impaction force compared to the small users. The combination of underdeveloped motor skills and weight differences contributes to the risk of dislocations and fractures, especially in young children.
Impact with the springs and frame – About 20% of injuries are attributed to direct contact with the trampoline’s frame and springs. While the effects of using padding are scattered, rapid deterioration in the quality of the same has raised safety concerns.
Patterns of Injury With Trampoline Use
Age Factor – Children less than 6 years old are accounted for about 22% to 37% of trampoline-related injuries. Young children are susceptible to bone injuries such as dislocations and fractures.
Severe Injuries – the low extremity accounted for about 34% to 50% of the injuries. And, it involves ankle injuries like sprains. For the high extremities, about 24% to 36% of the cases were fractures resulted from falling off the trampoline.
Neck and Head Injuries – while the risks of having severe injuries are high, the most frightening injuries are the ones that involve the neck and head. Permanent neurologic damage and cervical spine injuries such as hyperflexion are the most devastating injuries.
Vertebral artery dissections the direct result of sudden cervical rotation and hyperflexion. This kind of trauma to the artery results in a dissection of the arteries and led to intracranial emboli. Devastating in nature, these kinds of injuries give rise to neurologic complications in the long run. Any kind of neck pain requires medical evaluation and prompt diagnosis.
Sternal injuries can lead to major trauma. Several cases have been reported that children between ten and eleven years old suffer from a sternal fracture because of trampoline use. It happens after hyperflexion injuries, while they heal naturally, surgical procedures might be needed if the pain remains the same.
Fractures of the proximal tibia are common in children who are six years old and below. These injuries even include transverse fractures and other torus-type injuries. These injuries are bound to happen when younger children share the trampoline with large individuals that results in greater impact forces.
Contact Trampoline Park Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured at one of these parks due to negligence or failure to comply with safety standards, call our trampoline injury attorneys today at (904) 292-1111 for a free consultation.