When are trampolines safe for children?

Trampolines can cause serious injury, whether used in the backyard or at a trampoline park.

What may seem like a safe and easy way to get extra energy out of children is often a very dangerous form of entertainment. Trampolines are responsible for hundreds of thousands of injuries and have resulted in over $1 billion in emergency room costs. These injuries include everything from minor sprains and strains to more serious head and neck injuries.

Parents can take steps to help better ensure their children are safe while their young ones get some much needed exercise. The first step is to have a basic understanding of trampoline use. Trampoline use is generally broken down into one of two categories:

  • Home. Backyard trampolines are often ubiquitous with summer break. Some parents have attempted to provide a safe jumping environment by adding a net, but in most cases a net is not enough to ensure children are free from accidents on the trampoline. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 95 percent of trampoline related injuries result from the use of a home trampoline.
  • Trampoline park. These forms of amusement parks have gained in popularity in recent years. Warehouses are essentially converted to house numerous styles and sizes of trampolines for children, teens and adults to use. A recent piece in Claims Journal notes that injuries from these parks often involve an adult falling onto a child. A piece in CNN discussed these parks, noting business owners are stepping away from responsibility by stating that it is "up to parents to assess the risk."

Essentially, neither of these options is safe for children. Ideally, according to medical experts that treat the injuries that result from misuse of trampolines, the only safe option is a supervised, gymnastic or diving training setting. These devices are best seen as training tools, not toys. When used wisely, they can provide valuable assistance in helping children safely learn the skills needed for these sports. When used as a toy, particularly an unsupervised toy, injuries are likely.

If your child was injured while using another's trampoline or while patronizing a trampoline park, legal remedies may be available to help cover the costs associated with the accident. These costs can become overwhelming very quickly. Doctors' visits, surgeries and medications are often just the beginning. Rehabilitation, medical devices and continued care may also be needed. These costs can be mitigated through a lawsuit. The lawsuit can hold the responsible party accountable for the negligence that led to the injury while also providing you with the money you need to care for your child. Contact an attorney to discuss your options.