In recent years, the popularity of trampoline parks has grown significantly. Less than a decade ago, there were only three trampoline parks across the United States. Today, that number has increased to over 800. The rise in popularity of trampoline parks and attractions can be cause for concern for many parents. Are trampoline parks safe? With such a rapid expansion of trampoline park attendance, it is not surprising that injuries at these establishments have increased dramatically among children as well.
Trampoline Injuries on the Rise
The number of serious injuries that occur from trampoline use each year is astonishing. It estimated that 103,512 kids under the age of 18 were treated at emergency departments for trampoline park injuries last year long. Though a number of these occurred at private residences, injuries happening at trampoline parks continues to climb. A 2016 study showed emergency room visits due to trampoline park injuries increased by nearly 1,100%. The data collected ranges from 2010 to 2014. Since the study’s conclusion, the numbers have continued to increase at a steady rate. Common injuries resulting from trampoline use include severe fractures, dislocations, sprains, and torn muscles. These injuries have many parents questioning if trampoline parks are safe and worth the risk. Simply by looking at the increase of injuries, the answer would be no. However, certain precautions and measures are in place in hopes of making these establishments safer for kids and families.
Trampoline Park Safety Standards
When it comes to safety, it is not surprising that injuries due to trampolines have increased dramatically over recent years. This is because trampoline parks are largely unregulated in much of the country. Parents are not the only ones asking the question “are trampoline parks safe?” Michigan is one of only eight other states to implement legal standards for the trampoline parks to follow. The Trampoline Court Safety Act of 2014 aimed at improving trampoline park safety standards. This law sets forth specific safety criteria for both trampoline park operators and patrons by adopting specific safety standards with regard to the design, building, installation, and operation of trampolines. These regulations have helped trampoline park operators understand the risks associated with trampoline use and maintain the facilities in a safe manner.
Thanks to this legislative action, trampoline park operator liability is clarified. If the establishment or trampoline park operator fails to follow the set safety standards, they may be held liable for injuries to patrons.
While it is the responsibility of the park to follow applicable regulations and guidelines, parents also need to know the risks associated with trampoline use. This helps prevent unexpected injuries. In that regard, it is important to also educate children about the risks involved with trampoline use, perform your own quick inspection of equipment, read the required liability waiver carefully before signing, and provide supervision to kids at trampoline parks at all times.
So, if you’re wondering, “are trampoline parks safe?” the answer in many cases is, they can be. But with proper education and diligence watching your kids as they enjoy these facilities, there will hopefully be a decline in injury numbers in the coming years.
Authored by Michigan personal injury attorney, Jon Homa
Bryan Waldman appeared on WLNS 6 Legal Edge to talk about trampoline parks. He discussed the rebound effect. This happens when one person jumps and transfers their energy to another person. The other person may not suspects it’s coming and is forcefully injured as a result. He also explains that poor design of facilities is often to blame, as well as problematic indemnification clauses parents must sign as part of the park’s liability waiver.