Parents everywhere are eager to find new ways to provide both entertainment and physical activity for their children. One easy way to do this is to visit a local trampoline park. Though trampolines have been around for decades, the first trampoline park in the world was only just built in 2004 in America. Since then, there have been over 600 trampoline parks built in the United States. Trampoline parks can provide entertainment for entire families, but what happens when that fun turns into danger?
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON TRAMPOLINE PARK INJURIES?
If you can imagine hurting yourself on a regular trampoline in the backyard, then it should not be much of a surprise that those same injuries can happen inside a trampoline park. With an increase of both trampoline options and people jumping all at once, there is plenty of room for disaster. Since its creation, trampoline parks have seen the following injuries each year:
- Rashes or Burns
- Broken Bones
- Muscle Damage
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Brain Injury
While it is not common, it is important to point out death is possible. In fact, there have been six deaths in a trampoline park in the past few years. Don McPherson, a gymnastic coach for over 40 years, has sat in on over 200 cases as an expert witness. He explains, “Broken necks, broken backs, dislocated and open-fractured elbows, shoulders…they’re all catastrophic injuries.” McPherson told CBS News, “…the danger lies in the design. Several trampolines are connected with steel cables or chain links under thin padding. As people jump, waves of energy are generated in all directions, which can cause those double-bounces that can end in high-impact collisions. They’re moving at speeds and with energy that when they hit or get hit by somebody else that’s twice their weight, they end up with crush injuries.”
The injuries can happen to anyone. A father in New Jersey double-bounced his four year old, and it caused the child’s femur to break. It took a full minute before someone realized the child was writhing in pain. Ric Swezey, a world-class gymnast, was at a trampoline park in Virginia with his husband and their two children when he landed oddly on his foot, which caused him to fall over and hit his head on a thinly padded wall. The hit caused him to go almost completely brain dead and he passed away in 2017.
Not only can these injuries be brutal, but they can also scar those who witness them. In an establishment full of kids, this leaves children in all kinds of vulnerable situations.
WHAT CAUSES A TRAMPOLINE PARK INJURY?
Although trampoline parks have guidelines and employees to enforce safety procedures, accidents still happen. Sometimes, danger is completely out of your hands. Here are some of the top causes for injuries at a trampoline park:
- Double-bouncing: This is when your bounce affects the bounce of someone near you. The timing of the bounce can off-set someone else’s bounce or landing. This can lead to serious injury especially to someone’s legs.
- Overcrowding: If the staff is doing their job correctly, overcrowding should never happen. But, if an employee neglects his or her duties, you might experience too many people on the trampoline park at one time. Keep an extra eye on small children in this scenario.
- Disregard of Jumping Rules: This can absolutely lead to serious injury. For example, jumping on top of another person in a pit can have severe consequences. Thankfully, this is a common rule by which many abide.
- Inadequate Supervision: Trampoline parks need employees to supervise the same way pools need lifeguards. Someone who knows all of the rules should be present to enforce them.
- Faulty Equipment: If a piece of equipment is broken, there can easily be an injury. Some trampoline parks have several areas you can climb on. If those structures are broken in any way, you can expect someone to get hurt.
- Poor Assembly: Similar to faulty equipment, if someone has taken shortcuts to assemble the equipment, then they are leaving every customer at risk.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN INJURED AT A TRAMPOLINE PARK?
If you or your child has been injured at a trampoline park, contact a trusted attorney today. After documenting the injuries thoroughly, speak with a legal professional at Keller Melchiorre & Walsh to discuss your case and establish fault. In these situations, fault usually falls on the owner of the trampoline park, the manufacturer of the trampoline park equipment, or another guest that was at the trampoline park while you were there. Once you sit down with us and explain what happened, we will help you determine who was at fault so that we can move forward together in seeking the compensation you deserve. Call or text us today to get started on a better tomorrow.