Trampoline parks have become increasingly popular in recent years. These big indoor facilities appeared across Hampton Roads and kids love them. Doctors who have seen a surge in emergency room admissions from trampoline parks don’t love them. Foam pit injuries at trampoline parks raise a particular concern.
Hampton Roads trampoline parks include Cloud9 in Chesapeake, Rebounderz of Newport News and Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Virginia Beach.
Many trampoline parks feature foam pits where kids can jump into recessed areas filled with foam cubes. It’s a popular feature but these areas are accidents waiting to happen. There are few regulations relating to foam pits and terrible injuries have been sustained by people who jumped into shallow pits.
Foam pits at trampoline parks and other amusement parks have resulted in serious injuries including broken necks, an injury that can be life-threatening and cause paralysis. Foam pit injuries at trampoline parks occur for two main reasons:
The mat or the netting under the form is not sturdy enough or has insufficient clearance from the floor.
The foam is not replaced often enough. When foam blocks get older they can become almost as hard as bricks.
No parent would allow their kid to jump into a pit of bricks. However, this is a real danger from plunging into a foam pit.
Can Foam Pit Injuries at Trampoline Parks Be Fatal?
Sadly, people have died from jumping into foam pits. In 2016, Today ran a story about Maureen Kerley, a mother who lost her only son after he jumped into a foam put at an Arizona trampoline park.
Ty Thomasson was 30-years-old at the time of his death in February 2012. He somersaulted into a shallow foam pit at Skypark, a trampoline park in Phoenix.
The pit was only 2 feet, 8 inches deep. Thomasson broke five major vertebrae in his neck and died. The reporters also spoke to Ken Harper whose 6-year-old daughter broke her leg broken in two places after another child landed on her at an indoor trampoline park.
Kerley is concerned about the lack of regulations governing indoor trampoline parks. She lobbied for new legislation in Arizona — dubbed Ty’s Law. This required the parks to undergo a registration process and regular inspections. Kerley warns trampoline parks across the country lack safety regulations.
How Common Are Foam Pit Injuries at Trampoline Parks
The Facebook page Think Before You Bounce contains multiple reports of serious injuries in bounce pits. They include the sad story of Christina Flygare, the mother of a Washington teen who broke his neck in a bounce pit accident at a trampoline park.
Flygare’s son expected to be spending the summer of 2016 before his senior year of high school swimming, at band camp and hanging out with friends.
An injury in the foam pit of a trampoline park meant the 17-year-old Washington teen spent the break learning how to walk again and how to shower and eat without the help of his mother. The teen suffered spinal cord injuries. His mother filed a lawsuit against the trampoline park operator, Sky High Sports Seattle.
Are Trampoline Park Accidents Increasing?
Repeated studies point to a marked increase in accidents at trampoline parks. However, this is to be expected at a time when more massive, indoor locations have opened and the activity has become more popular with kids.
The number of pediatric emergency room visits attributable to injuries at trampoline parks rose from under 600 in 2010 to nearly 7,000 in 2014, according to a study from the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What Do Medical Professionals Say About Foam Pit Injuries at Trampoline Parks?
Doctors warn kids and adults to stay away from trampoline parks altogether. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises pediatricians to “actively discourage recreational trampoline use.” The warning extends to backyard trampolines as well as indoor parks. The AAP cites U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission figures showing as many at 100,000 trampoline-related injuries every year in the United States. More than 3,000 people require hospitalization every year.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says children under 6 should never jump on trampolines.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Lawyer over Foam Pit Injuries at Trampoline Parks
Our attorneys have handled cases involving serious injuries at Virginia trampoline parks. We don’t believe parents realize the full extent of foam pit injuries at trampoline parks. These pits attract children. The dangers are far from obvious.
When you visit a trampoline park, you are likely to be asked to sign a waiver of liability. This does not affect your ability to sue the park operators if you or your child is injured due to their negligence. We represent people hurt in trampoline accidents in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Newport News and elsewhere in Virginia. Call us today at (757) 455-0077 for a free consultation.