Trampoline parks have become an increasingly popular place to hold birthday parties, scout meetings, church youth group get-togethers and other activities for children. According to the International Association of Trampoline Parks, there were just 25 trampoline parks across the country in 2010, but that number had skyrocketed up to more than 350 in 2014.
These locations are touted as great places to let kids get out their energy safely for a relatively low cost. They feature entire floors of rows of trampolines, as well as trampolines angled onto the walls and, in some cases, even on the ceiling to create the bounciest surface possible.
What many people may not know is that, along with an increase in the number of locations of these parks is a corollary uptick in the number of injuries associated with them. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that there were about 600 reported trampoline park-related injuries in 2010; the injury rate increased more than 1,000 percent to nearly 7,000 in 2014.
Children are at the highest risk
It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of emergency room visits and subsequent hospitalizations arising from trampoline park injuries involve children. This is likely because children are using the equipment more, but also because children may not understand that having multiple people jumping in the same area is much more likely to result in injury than if a single person was.
Trampoline park injuries were also usually more serious, with about 9 percent of them requiring hospitalization (compared to 5.2 percent of home trampoline-related injuries). Most trampoline park-preceded emergency room visits were because of:
- Broken bones
- Dislocations (particularly knees and ankles)
Untrained staffers exacerbate the risks
Part of the problem with trampoline parks being proverbial hotbeds for injured children is that they are often staffed by young people with little or no first aid training. A recent NPR piece on these parks told the story of a mother from Oklahoma whose son broke his arm and received no first aid or assistance from staff. To stabilize him long enough to transport him to the hospital, she ended up setting his fractured bone herself, by creating a makeshift splint using the ice scraper from her car.
The overall injury rate in trampoline parks, given the number of patrons each year, is relatively low. That being said, injuries can be severe, very painful, and require surgical treatment. If you or your child suffered serious injuries at a trampoline park or other recreational facility, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation to cover your medical expenses and other related costs. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area for more information.