According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, children under the age of six should not be permitted to use trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against the use of trampolines by children altogether. Recently, a three-year old child in Florida made national news via social media, drawing attention to the dangers of trampoline parks. The child broke his thighbone while bouncing on a trampoline at an indoor park. Subsequently, he had to wear a cast from the waist down. The child’s mother was told that the repetitive pressure from jumping may have caused the fracture.
Trampoline parks have become wildly popular, and as such, are springing up across the United States. A recent study found that emergency room visits for trampoline park-related injuries have skyrocketed in recent years. Over a four-year period, the number of trampoline park-related injuries nationwide jumped from 580 to approximately 7,000 annually.
The injuries reported ranged from mild bumps and bruises to severe, life-changing injuries. Most common were leg injuries, such as lacerations, contusions, strains, and fractures. Two children reportedly suffered spinal cord injuries. One child fractured their skull, and there were several incidents of open fractures noted in the study.
Anyone who has ever visited a trampoline park has likely had to sign a waiver prior to entering. Many people assume that by signing a waiver, they cannot recover compensation for their child’s injuries, regardless of what happens at the park. This is not always the case. In fact, part of the reason trampoline parks require waivers is to deter people who are injured from filing a premises liability lawsuit. A waiver cannot protect the trampoline park from negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct resulting in injury. For example, if a trampoline is broken or defective, resulting in sharp edges causing lacerations, the park could be held liable under certain circumstances.
Other issues impacting park liability include whether employees are present in areas designated for younger children, to ensure that older children do not enter the area and bump into the younger ones. The company may also have internal regulations requiring employees to be in designated areas throughout the park at all times to ensure that children are practicing safe jumping. There are also statutes of limitations that require injured victims to file a claim within a certain time after the date of their injury.
There are steps that can be taken to protect those children who choose to use recreational trampolines. Adults should constantly supervise to ensure children are jumping safely and avoiding the edges. Only one child should be on the trampoline at a time. Children should never attempt to do flips or somersaults on a trampoline. They should also wear protective padding and nonslip footwear at all times.
A recreational facility cannot waive its duty to keep premises safe for customers. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact an experienced Philadelphia premises liability lawyer at Galfand Berger LLP today to discuss your legal options. Call us at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) to schedule a consultation or complete our online contact form. With offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Bethlehem and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There is no fee unless we recover compensation for you.