Utah Trampoline Park Accidents May Be Part of Huge Spike in Child, Teen Injuries
It’s not exactly surprising that trampolines can cause serious accidents. However, the frequency with which injuries occur is somewhat shocking. With the rising popularity of Utah’s trampoline parks comes the rise of serious injuries, particularly among teenagers and children, who make up a large portion of these parks’ guests. Of course, adults are also vulnerable, as many park-goers have learned the hard way. If you’re planning on visiting a trampoline park in Utah anytime soon, Salt Lake City brain injury lawyer Darwin Overson urges you to take extreme caution – because no matter how much experience you have using trampolines, there’s no way to completely eliminate the risk of injury.
Commercial Trampoline Parks Rise in Popularity, Injury Statistics Increase
Most people recognize that bouncing on a trampoline carries some degree of risk, as do many recreational activities. Amusement park rides can cause deadly accidents, but millions of Americans choose to attend theme parks anyway. Skiing and snowboarding can both be fatal, yet they’re arguably the most popular winter sports in the United States. Youth sports like soccer and football are major causes of concussions and bone fractures, but millions of children happily participate.
Risky sports and recreational activities shouldn’t necessarily be banned or demonized, but it is important for participants (and the parents of participants) to understand the hazards that are present. Trampolining – which has been part of the Olympics since 2000 – is no exception to this rule, especially in light of the burgeoning popularity of commercial trampoline parks.
While trampoline parks have existed in the U.S. since the late 1950s, they’ve recently enjoyed a surge in public interest, with the International Association of Trampoline Parks reporting an increase from “35 to 40 indoor trampoline parks” in 2011 to more than 280 by 2014. There are at least half a dozen in Utah alone, including the Warehouse Trampoline Park in South Salt Lake, Sky Trampoline Arena in Layton, Snogression Trampoline Park in Salt Lake City, and Get Air Hang Time in Orem.
However, with increased attendance comes increased potential for serious injury.
Study Shows Leg Fractures Most Common Trampoline Park Injuries
According to a study published this year in peer-reviewed medical journal Pediatrics, which analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, trampoline park injuries increased from 581 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014. That’s 11.9 times the number of injuries reported in 2010, an incredible statistical surge over just four years. To put it into perspective, if Utah car accident figures were to follow the same trajectory, you’d see an increase from 21,675 injury victims in 2010 to 257,933 injury victims in 2014, instead of the 23,364 injuries – still 23,364 too many, of course – that actually occurred.
The Pediatrics study found that the mean age of trampoline park injury victims was 13.3 years. Victims were “predominantly male.” The most common injuries resulting from trampoline park accidents were found to be sprains (torn ligaments) and broken bones.
The study noted that head injuries and lacerations were less likely to occur in park settings than in residential settings, but on the other hand, park visitors were more likely to dislocate joints, injure their feet or legs, and require hospital admission. Trampoline use is risky regardless of where it occurs, but this data indicates that setting has a significant impact on the types of injuries that are most likely to result.
However, even when accidents occurred in the same setting, the likelihood of certain injuries was related to age. For example, children under the age of six were more likely to break bones than older children or adults, even when all three age groups went trampolining in a park setting. At trampoline parks, bone fractures accounted for nearly 48% of injuries in children under age six, compared to only 33.5% in children and teens aged six to 17, and only 17.5% in adults aged 18 or older.
Other injuries were common regardless of age, such as lower extremity injuries, which were the most prevalent injury type across all age groups. To quote the study, “The only significant difference in body part injured by age was an increase in neck injuries with increasing age, with neck injuries representing 0% of injuries in patients under six years old, 3.6% in ages six to 17 years, and 9.5% in adults.”
Lower leg fractures, a type of lower extremity injury, were the number one trampoline park injury overall. According to the study, shin bone and lower leg fractures (e.g. tibia fractures, fibula fractures) were the reason for nearly 60% of all hospital admissions. By comparison, people who used trampolines at home were more likely to fracture their elbows (34%) or bones of the forearm, like the radius and ulna (18%).
Injured on a Defective Trampoline? Contact a Utah Product Liability Lawyer for Help
The bottom line is that trampolines will always carry some degree of danger for people of all ages. When trampoline park employees are negligent, or when a trampoline has defective parts, the risk of injury climbs even higher.
If you or one of your family members suffered a bone fracture, torn ligament, or other type of injury related to trampolines or other recreational products, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 for a free consultation with Salt Lake City product liability attorney Darwin Overson. Depending on how and why the injury occurred, you may be able to get compensated.