Jumping on a row of trampolines, bouncing against padded walls, and flipping into foam pits sounds like an exciting day at the trampoline park. But several Connecticut residents are anything but happy with their experience.
According to Channel 3 News, at least nine lawsuits have been filed claiming serious injuries after visiting one of the following trampoline parks in the state: The Sky Zone in Wallingford, Launch Trampoline Park in Hartford, and Flight Fit ’N Fun in New Britain. Injuries reported in the lawsuits included anything from broken bones to brain injuries. Some of the accident victims were so severely injured they required surgery to prevent the risk of permanent damage.
Trampoline parks are not only posing a risk to jumpers in Connecticut. Indoor trampoline injuries are skyrocketing across the country. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, trampoline park injuries increased from 2,500 in 2013 to 18,000 in 2017. Sadly, six deaths have also been reported related to injuries sustained at these trampoline facilities.
Families who are considering visiting a trampoline park in Connecticut should know the risks before they bounce. Not every trampoline park is up to code with safety regulations to protect visitors. Knowing the most common injuries and the red flags that highlight a dangerous facility can help you avoid life-threatening injuries and a trip to the emergency room.
Trampolines Cause Serious Injuries
When looking at the injury statistics of trampolines in general, it comes as no surprise that a building full of these hazardous jumping contraptions would result in thousands of injuries. Trampolines cause approximately 100,000 injuries every year. According to the Mayo Clinic, more than 1 million people were seen in emergency departments across the United States between 2002 and 2011 for trampoline-related injuries.
Trampolines are capable of causing catastrophic injuries to children and families that can result in life-altering consequences. Some of these injuries include:
- Broken Bones and Fractures (including neck and spine)
- Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Open Fractures
At least 75 percent of trampoline injuries involve accidents where multiple children are jumping on the trampoline at the same time. This statistic is particularly important to remember when assessing injuries risks at trampoline parks, where multiple children are always jumping on one trampoline at the same time.
Adults are equally at risk for serious injuries at trampoline parks. According to U.S. News, 45 percent of fractures in adult patients occur at trampoline parks compared to 17 percent at home. Adult jumpers are also twice as likely to require surgery for trampoline-related injuries, sometimes even multiple procedures depending on the severity of the injury.
The Hidden Dangers of Trampoline Parks
The sudden influx in trampoline parks across the country is one of the main contributors to the massive increase of trampoline-related injuries in the last few years. Some of these parks, popping up practically overnight, do not meet the safety standards necessary to prevent catastrophic injuries from occurring. These negligent facilities make serious errors putting visitors in danger, including:
- Too Many Bouncers: Allowing too many bouncers on a trampoline at once is an invitation for injury. Children can collide, knock each other off, or land on top of each other, posing a high risk for injury. Double bouncing, when one person is catapulted off a trampoline by another bouncer who lands at the same time, is common when too many people are bouncing on one trampoline. These instances result in severe trauma to the body from individuals blindly landing from elevated heights.
- Minimal Padding: Providing insufficient padding on walls, around trampolines, or surrounding foam pits can lead to serious impact injuries. Visitors who bounce with the false impression that they are safe with padding may pull risky maneuvers that could cause permanent damage.
- Leaving Gaps: Not filling large gaps between trampolines and padding could allow jumpers to fall through or become caught in the springs. Metal springs are strong enough to break bones and cause severe lacerations.
- Minimal Supervision: Providing little to no staff supervision at trampoline parks leaves jumpers. Staff is needed to keep an eye on bouncers to ensure they are jumping safe and to advise them of dangerous stunts to avoid.
- Dangerous Obstacle Courses: A number of trampoline parks add obstacle courses for teens and adults to make the experience more exciting. However, adding dangerous obstacles could pose injury to participants, particularly when accompanied by the force of jumping on a trampoline.
Trampoline parks that do not always follow the safety guidelines and industry standards created to keep bouncers safe are putting visitors at unnecessary risk, regardless of how athletic you are.
In 2017, world-class gymnast Ric Swezey was visiting a trampoline park with his family in Virginia, according to CBS News. While jumping on a trampoline, Swezey stumbled and hit his head against a wall that was only lightly padded. Swezey cracked his C2 vertebra, constricting his airway and blood flow, resulting in him becoming paralyzed and 90 percent brain dead. He later died from the injuries sustained in this devastating and unnecessary accident.
How To Jump Safely
Trampoline parks can be a fun family outing when facilities and families keep safety in mind. Before you start to jump, these are the safety recommendations highlighted by Jump Altitude you should be following to reduce injuries:
- Make sure the park you choose has ample padding, nets, and strict safety rules.
- Always land on two feet.
- If you are jumping out of control, assume a ball position to protect your limbs.
- Do not try double flips that could lead you to lose your direction in the air.
- Never land upside to protect your spine, head, and neck.
- Jump with one person on a tramp at a time to prevent double bouncing and collisions.
- Pace yourself. Tired jumpers get injured more often.
- Don’t attempt jumping tricks you do not know how to do. Some of the jumpers you see at trampoline parks doing stunts are trained gymnasts. There is no reason to try and keep up!
Remember, if you can’t jump safely, don’t jump at all. Have fun and jump safely Connecticut!
Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys
Trampoline parks have a duty to keep visitors safe. Neglecting safety standards puts others at risk of unnecessary and preventable accidents. If you or a loved one has sustained a trampoline park-related injury, Jacobs & Wallace is here to fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation to review your case and your options for seeking justice.