Multiple statistics and studies plainly show that backyard trampolines are dangerous to children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that in the year 2012 alone, there were 94,900 emergency room visits for trampoline injuries.
Injuries to children include broken bones and spinal cord injuries causing paralysis, as well as less serious bumps and bruises. Serious injuries are often caused by kids bumping into each other while on the trampoline, rather than by falling off and onto the ground. Nonetheless, as reported on LIVESTRONG.com, “Many parents purchase trampolines for their children, believing that trampolines are toys that will provide hours of outdoor fun for kids.” What many do not realize, is that home-use trampolines actually cause most of the overall trampoline-related injuries, and LIVESTRONG.com also reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics has gone so far as to recommend that parents never purchase trampolines for homes and never allow their children to jump on trampolines at someone else’s home.
So, what is a responsible parent to do when they encounter a trampoline at a backyard children’s birthday party, or another outdoor event? The CPSC has also made several recommendations for – hopefully – the safe use of trampolines.
- Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time, and do not allow children under 6 years old to use a full-size trampoline.
- Do not attempt or allow somersaults, because landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis.
- Do not use the trampoline without shock-absorbing pads that completely cover its springs, hooks and frame. The trampoline should also be completely enclosed with netting to prevent falls to the ground.
- Place the trampoline away from structures, trees, and other play areas.
- Trampolines should always be used only under direct supervision by an adult.
These are well-known recommendations that should be followed by the trampoline owner or the group sponsoring an outdoor event. If your child has been seriously injured on a trampoline, you may have important legal rights and the ability to help prevent additional injuries to other children. The homeowner’s insurance policy, or that of a group using a trampoline as an attraction, may provide money for your child’s recovery and treatment.
If your child has been seriously injured in a trampoline incident, please call the Providence, Rhode Island law firm of Decof, Decof & Barry.