Fox & Farley, Attorneys at Law

Is It Safe to Take My Child to a Tennessee Indoor Trampoline Park?

In a famous episode of the long-running comedy series “The Simpsons,” Homer Simpson acquires a used trampoline and proceeds to charge neighborhood kids admission to jump on it. Homer’s quick financial windfall turns ugly, however, as scores of children are injured on the unsafe trampoline and are eventually seen strewn about the Simpsons’ lawn like dying soldiers on a battlefield. Homer then realizes the trampoline might not have been the smartest idea.

Pediatricians Warn Trampolines Are Unsafe for Children

While it may be a 20-year-old cartoon, the scenario it described is actually quite real and relevant to the present day. A recent academic study in the medical journal Pediatrics found that “emergency department visits for [trampoline park injuries] increased significantly, from 581 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014.” The typical victim is a 13-year-old boy and the most common injuries are sprains and fractures.

The study’s authors warned that “[t]rampoline use poses a significant risk to children.” This underscores a previous statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2012, which advised parents “against recreational trampoline use.” A trampoline is “a piece of specialized training equipment for specific sports,” the AAP statement said, and should only be used “as part of a structured training program with appropriate coaching, supervision, and safety measures in place.”

Despite these warnings, many commercial indoor trampoline parks have popped up in recent years, in Tennessee and throughout the country. While many parents may assume these parks are safe, the Pediatrics study found that a child was more likely to be hospitalized for an injury sustained at a trampoline park as opposed to home trampoline use. Approximately one-third of trampoline park injuries involved a fall or improper landing that caused a sprain or fracture. The next most common types of injuries were a twisted ankle or knee (12 percent of reported injuries), an injury involving another jumper on the same trampoline (8 percent), and an injury incurred while attempting a flip (8 percent).

Trampoline Parks Facing More Personal Injury Claims

Not surprisingly, a number of families of children injured at indoor trampoline parks have filed personal injury lawsuits. The operator of a trampoline park in Bellevue, Washington, recently filed for bankruptcy after facing “dozens of lawsuits from people who’ve been injured and claimed the company was negligent,” according to a local news report. One personal injury lawyer, who represents about 20 victims, said some of his clients “have broken their legs in eight-to-nine places,” while another “broke his neck” in two places.

If your child has been seriously injured at a Tennessee indoor trampoline park or any other recreational facility that targets young people with potentially dangerous activities, it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified Knoxville personal injury lawyer. Your child may require thousands of dollars worth of medical care, not to mention compensation for extended pain and suffering. If a negligent park operator is to blame, you should not hesitate to hold them accountable. Contact the offices of Fox & Farley, Attorneys at Law, if you need to speak with someone about your case right away.

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