How parents can encourage safety at trampoline parks
Posted August 11, 2016
Trampoline parks are increasing in number and popularity, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Trampoline parks, or facilities with several consecutive trampolines and padded walls, carry "significant risk of injury to children," according to the study.
For the study the researchers examined trampoline injuries by using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 2010 to 2014. They found that trampoline-related injuries had increased from 581 in 2010 to 6,293 in 2014.
"Trampoline injury rates — at 32.8 hospital ER visits per 100,000 people — are much lower than injury rates of popular sports such as football (124.3) and basketball (164). But compared with activities like volleyball (16.5) and hockey (16), trampoline jumping appears more dangerous," the Deseret News reported this week.
The article also noted that trampoline parks have grown and now include features such as rock climbing, obstacle courses and dunk courses that haven't been monitored for safety.
However, Ashton Goodell, a spokeswoman at Get Air Sports in Ogden, Utah, told the Deseret News that trampoline parks are making an effort to raise safety standards. Get Air Sports, for example, has recently raised ceiling heights, banned extra-bouncy trampolines and created separate play areas for younger and older children.
"We care tremendously about safety," she said. "It's all we ever talk about."
While injuries at trampoline parks are common, the study found many trampoline-related injuries occur at home.
Whether a child is bouncing at a park or at home, there are a few precautions parents can take to avoid the emergency room:
- Wait your turn. According to ChildrensMD, only one child should be bouncing on a trampoline at a time due to the dangers of double bouncing.
- Avoid somersaults and flips. While trying new tricks is common at trampoline parks, flips should only be attempted under parental supervision due to the risk of spinal cord injuries, ChildrensMD recommended.
- Avoid trampolines for children under 6. These children are too small to be around bigger kids on trampolines because they are too light and lack proper coordination, according to The Guardian.
- Read the rules and safety waivers at trampoline parks. While many participants only glance at these rules, each park has a unique set of rules and parents must understand the risks of using the facility, according to 5News Online.
- Inform your children of the risks. "Let your children know that there are risks when jumping and if rules are not followed, they could harm themselves or another jumper," 5News Online stated.