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The Trampoline Problem

More and more, we are seeing serious trampoline injuries from unsuspecting participants who visit trampoline parks. It seems that every week there is a news story from another family pleading with legislators to regulate trampoline gym facilities and begging fellow parents to learn about the risks before allowing their children to jump. With over 160 trampoline parks operating in the US, and the craze now hitting Europe, we’re going to see even more broken bones, brain and spinal injuries, and even paralysis or death.

At Crosley Law Firm, we specialize in representing people who have experienced trampoline injuries. Often, trampoline injuries are much worse than what people imagine can happen on a trampoline because the equipment is marketed as a toy and a fun way for children and adults to be active. With bouncers reaching extreme heights and using equipment that may not be maintained or properly supervised, life-changing and serious injuries can occur. To add to the risk inherent in high jumping, children often bounce with others who can be much bigger than they are, they jump on equipment may be old or even broken, and the supervision positions are frequently low-paying jobs that are often staffed by teenagers.

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Trampoline Facts

  • Since 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has consistently advised against recreational trampoline use. Over 94,000 injuries happen every year, at a cost of over $4 billion, includes costs such as medical, legal, insurance, and disability expenses associated with trampoline injuries. According to the latest available data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), an estimated 94,945 people were injured on trampolines in 2012, and 4,305 of those injuries were severe enough to require hospitalization.[1]
  • The number of commercial trampoline parks is skyrocketing. In early 2011, only 35 to 40 indoor trampoline parks existed across the country. By April of 2014, there were over 280, including dozens in Texas. Trampoline parks are one of the fastest growing segments of the amusement industry.[2]
  • Doctors compare trampoline park injuries to war injuries and vehicle crash injuries. Physicians at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center are becoming increasingly concerned with the intensity and number of trampoline park injuries. Dr. Adam Phillips called them, “life-altering injuries, the type you would see from high-speed crashes or someone falling off a 30-foot cliff.”[3]
  • Modern trampoline safety measures have not significantly reduced injury rates. Safety measures like netting, perimeter enclosures, and padding have not led to a decrease in trampoline injuries. In fact, there is no correlation between the presence of safety equipment and injury rates. The quality of trampoline materials has also decreased. Trampolines sold in 1989 had an expected life of 10 years, but trampolines sold in 2004 are expected to last only 5 years .[4]
  • While other states are beginning to regulate trampoline parks, Texas has not yet joined them. Arizona, Utah, California and Michigan have all proposed new regulations on trampoline parks. Some of the measures would require trampoline parks to conduct safety training as well as undergo regular inspections and carry sufficient amounts of liability insurance. So far, Texas lawmakers have not proposed any solutions to make the growing number of trampoline parks safer.

Expert Opinions

Our knowledge is informed by our experiences with numerous trampoline injury cases as well as similar cases in the news and information from related experts. Unfortunately, modern trampoline safety measures have not significantly reduced injury rates. Safety measures like netting, perimeter enclosures, and padding have not lead to a significant decline in trampoline injuries. As both videos on this page indicate, there are a large number of medical experts who are concerned over what – if anything – can be done to make the parks safer, except for stopping children from jumping altogether.

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Increasing Safety

In the case of Arizona, some are attempting to make trampoline parks safer by introducing bills for park regulation, similar to laws that set standards for amusement parks. The Arizona House Bill 2179 included some of the following provisions:

  • Yearly inspections of trampoline parks, their equipment and the materials used, with consequences for suspected problems.
  • At least $1 million mandatory insurance for any bodily harm to patrons.
  • Requiring records to be kept on serious injuries and equipment repairs.
  • Allowing cities and counties to oversee certain aspects of the operation and charge fees for the oversight services.[5]

Regardless of legislation and safety devices, there is still a great risk when jumping, performing gymnastic moves, flying high in the air, and bouncing with others.

Crosley Law Firm has experience with trampoline injury cases, and we know what to expect from trampoline parks. If you would like to submit a trampoline injury case for a free online evaluation, please submit your information for a free case review.

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