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Are trampolines safe?

Have safety features on backyard trampolines, such as spring and safety frame padding and boundary nets worked? Not according to a 2010 study that found these changes had not reduced the numbers of injuries. And backyard trampoline injuries may not be as serious as those happening at the increasing number of trampoline parks.

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Over the summer, a Florida mom posted a photo of her 3-year-old in a waist-to-ankle cast after a trip to a trampoline park. For another family, their first trip to a trampoline park for a birthday was their last when another child broke his leg in a collision. Are there legal remedies available when an accident causes a serious injury? Often the answer depends on the individual facts of a case, but we provide an overview in this blog.

What are the types of injuries?

A 2016 study looked at the trampoline injuries. They found more children were hurt at home, which probably relates to the amount of time that kids can spend jumping. The most common type of injury on home trampolines was a head injury.

Injuries at trampoline parks, however, are increasing at a rapid rate. The number of ER-trips went from 518 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014. The types of injuries include:

  • Lower-body injuries
  • Broken bones and sprains
  • And a specific fracture that has received the name "trampoline ankle"

At these trampoline parks, young children may bounce with older children and adults. Collisions are a particular risk, but landing on the mat while it is recoiling upward after another person's jump can also cause injuries.

How frequent are these accidents?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that trampoline accidents were responsible for 103,512 emergency room visits last year for children under 18.

How does this relate to another common cause of childhood injury - playground climbing equipment? The CPSC reported that there were roughly 23,000 fewer ER visits. Because the amount of time spent jumping is likely less than that spent climbing on the playground equipment this leads to an inference that trampolines are more dangerous.

Children 6 and under

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that children under the age of six never jump on trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics "strongly discourages" recreational trampoline use for children.

Keeping kids safe requires a few rules. First, wait until a child is six before buying a trampoline for the backyard. Second, supervise all trampoline use and limit the number of kids jumping at the same time. Avoid risky maneuvers - for example, flips and somersaults can cause permanent spinal cord injuries.

Are you shocked? You are not alone; a study in the journal Academic Pediatrics found fewer than 20 percent of parents surveyed had any idea of these dangers.

If your child is seriously injured in a trampoline accident, legal remedies could be available. These cases come with complicated issues related to assumption of risk and liability waivers. Discuss your concerns with an experienced personal injury trial attorney. The team of lawyers at the Mingledorff Law Firm brings a combined experience of more than 60 years and an unrivaled care for clients.

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