The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were 104,691 hospital emergency room visits due to trampoline injuries last year. The injuries were cuts, bruises, fractures, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, broken necks and paralysis. They were also aware of 22 trampoline related deaths from 2000-2009.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that trampolines never be used at home, in gym class or at playgrounds. Trampolines should only be used in supervised professional training programs for diving, gymnastics and other competitive sports. Despite the AAP safety recommendations, many parents continue to purchase trampolines for recreational home use. If a homeowner chooses to buy a trampoline, the AAP recommends the following safety guidelines:
- Only allow one jumper on the trampoline at a time to prevent collision injuries
- Do not allow somersaults or back flips
- Install protective padding on the springs and a perimeter safety net
- Perform routine inspections to make sure the equipment is secure
- Always provide adult supervision when a child is using the trampoline
Since trampolining became an Olympic sport in 2000 there has also been an increase in trampoline parks opening up in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Unlike amusement parks, there are no federal standards and regulations at trampoline parks are scarce. Recently, the International Association of Trampoline Parks did develop safety standards for trampoline parks, but the standards are voluntary.
If you chose to take your children to a trampoline park make sure the following safety precautions are in place:
- Give all jumpers safety instructions prior to bouncing
- Clearly post rules that prohibits double-bouncing or roughhousing
- Only allow one jumper to bounce in each area Have numerous court monitors, adults or referees observing at all times
- Make sure jumpers are separated by height and weight
- Have adequate padding on all trampoline springs
- Use nets below the trampolines
- Have staff trained and certified in CPR and first aid available
If you or your child was injured while on a trampoline, you may want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the cause of the injury and who may be negligent in causing the trampoline accident.