Indoor trampoline parks are under scrutiny after a series of high-profile injuries and deaths lead to questions about their safety.
A 30-year-old man died after breaking his neck in a foam pit at Sky Park in Phoenix. New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain sustained a career-threatening injury at trampoline center in Florida when he suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle, thrusting the bone through his skin and leading to a potentially life-threatening amount of blood loss at the scene.
And in this video, you can hear a young man’s leg snap as his flips on to a trampoline at Xtreme Trampolines in Chicago.
A recent Inside Edition investigation on safety problems in trampoline facilities featured some alarming video footage of very small children jump on trampolines with adults and little or no supervision. The biggest problem? Trampoline centers are violating the “cardinal rule” of trampoline safety: only one person on the trampoline at a time.
Trampoline parks are inherently dangerous because trampolines are not meant for multiple jumpers. The Trampoline Safety Association confirms this, and has several other recommendations for safety that are routinely ignored by trampoline centers.
- Do not allow somersaults. Interestingly, the vast majority of these recreational centers promote somersaults – check out the websites for Sky High Sports and Sky Zone Sports.
- The trampoline should not be used without shock-absorbing pads that completely cover the springs, hooks and frame. Even if the springs and hooks are covered, that space is exposed when people are jumping: it’s very easy to get caught between the frame and the pad.
- No child under the age of six should use a regular-sized trampoline. Always supervise children who use the trampoline. It is pretty evident from the videos above that young children often jump, and kids are often unsupervised.
Currently, there is very little regulation for these trampoline facilities, and it varies by state and even by county. In 2010, there were 92,159 hospital emergency room-treated injuries from trampolines.