Trampoline parks are widely popular for family entertainment, but they hide significant risks under the guise of fun. Studies highlight a concerning trend of severe injuries, including fractures and spinal damage, especially in children. If you or a loved one has been injured in one of these parks, seeking the expertise of an experienced trampoline park injury attorney is essential for navigating these complex cases.
The Rise of Trampoline Parks
The number of trampoline parks are exploding across the country. They offer “fun” for the whole family. They claim to offer a “safe” environment where patrons can “soar” in open trampoline areas, play games like dodgeball on trampolines, and do flips and somersaults. They are a popular destination for birthday parties.
The Hidden Dangers of Trampoline Parks
However, these parks are anything but safe. A study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) concluded that trampoline use at trampoline parks carry a “significant risk of injury to children.”
It found that Emergency Department visits for trampoline park injuries are increasing substantially. Specifically, the study found that trampoline park use can result in “severe injuries” through varied mechanisms often involving lower extremity sprains and fractures and, less commonly, open fractures and even spinal cord injuries.
Another study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics found that a risk particular to children included injuries to the growth plate in the leg which can cause the leg to stop growing. The dangers are not limited to children, however, as adults comprise a significant percentage of trampoline park participants.
Understanding Trampoline Park Injuries
So why are trampoline parks so dangerous?
Why are injuries so prevalent and, more importantly,
so serious when they do happen?
There are several reasons.
Design Risks at Trampoline Parks
Trampoline parks provide the illusion of separate trampoline beds. In fact, the trampoline beds are mechanically linked or interconnected in one large trampoline system. Parks construct a large frame within which there is a system of springs, cables and trampoline beds. As a result, when a jumper jumps on one trampoline bed, energy is transferred to other trampoline beds. In plain terms, a jumper bouncing on one trampoline bed affects the bounce of other jumpers.
As a result, the interconnected design results in unpredictable bed performance such that a jumper cannot rely on getting a consistent bounce on their trampoline. Therefore, any bounce, from a simple jump to a flip or other more complex maneuver, is less predictable. This effect increases the risk of injury to all jumpers playing on the trampoline system and increases as the number of jumpers increases.
The Danger of Double Bouncing
“Double bouncing” is one of the main causes of trampoline park injuries. Double bouncing is where multiple people jump on the same trampoline. This can happen by design or by accident since jumpers are regularly allowed to jump from one trampoline bed to another bed on these interconnected systems.
When two people bounce out of sync, they generate energy that can cause serious injuries, particularly to your legs. The jumper who gets injured is on the way down when the trampoline bed is springing back up from the first jumper, so the forces on the lower leg are more than anticipated. This force is what shreds the lower leg. The dangers are increased when the jumpers are different sizes and weights.
One study concluded that a 176-pound adult bouncing out-of-sync with a 55-pound child will dramatically increase the load absorbed by the child’s lower limbs, resulting in forces equivalent to a fall onto a solid surface from a height of almost 9.25 feet. Alternatively, jumpers may simply collide with one another at significant speed and force which can also cause serious injuries.
Addressing the Issue of Trampoline Park Safety
Most trampoline parks have “warning” signs and/or videos that fail to adequately warn customers of the dangers of jumping on trampolines. They may also have “rules” which tell jumpers what they should not do. Sometimes these signs or videos are not easily visible. Sometimes the signs contain too much language with over a dozen different “warnings” on one small sign. They say things like “jump in control” or “do not affect another jumper’s bounce in any way.” But what does it mean to “jump in control” or to “affect another jumper’s bounce?” What do these words mean to a six-year-old child? Who is responsible for determining whether a jumper is in control?
The Importance of Effective Warning Signs
Experts on warning signs say that, to be effective, a warning sign must be visible, easy to understand, and reasonably describe the dangers associated with the activity.
Too often, signs at trampoline parks fail one or more of these criteria. Often, testimony from injured victims shows that they never saw a warning sign or video, or that they did not understand them.
Seeking Justice with a Trampoline Park Injury Lawyer
Navigating the complexities of trampoline park injuries requires a dedicated and experienced attorney like Kevin J. Williams. Kevin is a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Trampoline Injury Litigation Group. With a deep understanding of the specific risks and legal challenges these cases present, Kevin is adept at offering personalized, effective legal representation.
If you or your loved ones have suffered due to inadequate safety measures at trampoline parks, Kevin's expertise can guide you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and justice is served. Don't let the negligence of others go unchallenged; reach out to Kevin for a comprehensive evaluation of your case and expert legal support.
When Profits Take
Precedence Over Safety
Trampoline parks often employ “court monitors” who are supposed to enforce the rules. However, these monitors are often untrained teenagers who are paid a cheap wage by park owners who value profits over people. When there are monitors, they are often insufficient in number relative to the number of jumpers. Videos of park injuries frequently show court monitors standing around doing nothing while surrounded by children and other patrons who are engaged in behaviors that are risky or violate the rules.
of Trampoline Park Injuries
Trampoline parks pose a significant risk of injury. Estimates from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) show that trampoline injuries result in nearly 100,000 emergency department (ED) visits a year. Trampoline injuries can occur from falls on the trampoline mat, falls off a trampoline, impact with the trampoline frame or springs, and collisions of multiple trampoline users. Serious injuries including cervical spine and skull fractures occur.
Because of the risks associated with trampolines, trampoline use by children is discouraged, but its popularity persists. The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on trampoline safety recommends against recreational trampoline use by children, and recommends that if trampolines are used, additional safety measures should be taken. Serious injuries are not limited to children, however, as adults are also at serious risk.
Legal Support from a Trampoline Park Injury Lawyer
The Law Office of Kevin J. Williams, PLLC, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, offers free consultations in which your trampoline park case will be reviewed and the best course of action will be recommended. Click the button below to schedule your free consultation.