Trampoline parks have been growing in popularity and more than 500 of these amusement facilities currently exist in North America. In fact, one of these trampoline parks opened two years ago in nearby Salem, Oregon.
Many parents are aware of the dangers of home trampolines, but falsely assume trampoline parks have additional safety features to make them safe.
The American Association of Pediatrics recently released a report on trampoline park injuries based on data from U.S. emergency department visits and found that in 2010 there were 581 injuries at trampoline parks and by 2014 the number of annual injuries reported had increased to 6,932.
The study found that sprains and simple fractures in the lower extremities were the most common types of injuries reported. More serious injuries including open fractures, concussions, skull fractures and spinal cord injuries were also reported.
Additionally, these parks require parents to sign a release of liability and are not held responsible in the event of an injury. Earlier this year, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of JumpTime, a wall-to-wall trampoline park. The case involved a teen, Seth Griffith, who broke his neck attempting a flip from a trampoline into a foam pit. Griffith required surgery to fuse his C6 and C7 vertebrae. The judge on the case ruled that the signage throughout the park directing guests to jump feet first fulfilled the parks responsibilities and that there was no evidence of negligence.
Trampolines are inherently risky. The pediatricians here at Woodburn Pediatrics highly recommend avoiding them altogether and opting for another safer form of exercise. But, if you do decide to let your children attend the occasional birthday party at a trampoline park, there are things you can do to reduce the chance of injury:
- Don’t assume the staff is watching your child. Keep an eye on your own children and ensure they are following the safety rules.
- Only one child should be on a trampoline at a time.
- No flips under any circumstances!
If you have any questions about the trampoline park injury statistics we shared or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss other forms of safe and healthy exercise for your child, please contact us today!