Trampoline park injuries are sending thousands of kids to hospital emergency rooms each year and Chicago patrons are not immune to the dangers. Hundreds of 911 calls regarding trampoline injuries were received by emergency dispatchers in the area last year alone.
Dangers in Trampoline Parks
Over the last decade, trampoline parks have become popular recreational areas for children and teens. Currently, there are approximately 800 jump arenas around the country. Less than a decade ago, there were only three in the United States. A corresponding increase in the number of park injuries spotlights the dangers of this pastime and the growing need for regulation.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, emergency room visits from trampoline park injuries have jumped from 581 to 6,932 within four years. About 90 percent of injury victims are children.
Injuries at trampoline parks are often life-changing. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against recreational trampoline use for all age groups, but especially for young children who face the highest risks for serious injuries. Common trampoline park injuries include:
- Hand and wrist fractures
- Sprained ankles
- Facial lacerations
- Broken arms and legs
- Neck and back cervical injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
Many trampoline injuries occur when the victim falls off of the trampoline, crashing to the ground or onto surrounding objects. Injuries also happen when several kids are on a trampoline at the same time and collide with each other while jumping or landing. High jumping, attempting flips, and doing other tricks often cause children to lose their balance and land on their neck or head, which can lead to paralyzing spine or brain injuries.
There were 315 emergency calls for trampoline park injuries in the Chicago area over the past three years. That number does not include children rushed to local hospital emergency rooms for their injuries. Serious injuries included fractured ankles, broken arms and femurs, broken necks, severed feet, and traumatic brain injuries. About 60 to 80 percent of trampoline injuries in young children affect bones, muscles, and tissues in the lower extremities. Older kids and teens sustain more neck and head injuries.
To increase safety and prevent accidents and injuries, the International Association of Trampoline Parks plans to enforce regular safety inspections and stricter rules and regulation throughout all of its parks across the country in 2020.