Trampoline parks are popping up around the country. From older teenagers to toddlers, there seems to be a place to bounce for just about anyone. However, while trampolines are fun, they can also be very dangerous. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, trampolines cause 100,000 injuries a year, mainly to children under the age of 18.
Most trampoline accidents occur in private backyards, not at trampoline parks. But in May, The Chicago Tribune reported on the dangers of trampoline parks. The story featured a trampoline park in Illinois that had witnessed 16 ambulances dispatched to treat injuries ranging from broken ankles and dislocated shoulders to head injuries. An additional call was made to 911 when 21-year-old Brett Kromeich did a front flip while on a trampoline at the Illinois park. When Kromeich landed, the tension from the trampoline snapped his leg in two, revealing bone through the side of his leg. He required surgery to repair the damage, but still walks with a limp.
Patrons are typically required to sign a waiver releasing trampoline park owners from legal liability in case of injury. Furthermore, most trampoline parks require customers to watch a safety video before they are allowed to jump. Finally, supervisors are present to enforce the jumping rules. Nevertheless, according to a recent CBS investigation at the Illinois trampoline park, supervisors commonly ignored customers blatantly breaking the rules. Even the trampoline park owner admitted that the supervisors should’ve stopped the behavior after reviewing the investigative footage.
Currently, there are no federal safety regulations for trampoline parks. For experts on trampoline jumping and acrobatics, the free-for-all nature of trampoline parks is troublesome. Take, for example, Mark Sohn, a former champion gymnast who recently visited the Illinois trampoline park: for Sohn, it isn’t a question if someone is going to get hurt at the trampoline park, it’s a question of when.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.