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Trampoline court injuries prompt concerns

Posted August 13, 2013
Updated August 14, 2013

Trampoline arenas are popping up all around the country, prompting concern by some parents about their safety.
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— Trampoline arenas are popping up all around the country, prompting concern by some parents about their safety.

At Defy Gravity Trampoline arena in Durham, there are high-flyers, skilled flippers, and even little bouncers like Tara Mullins’ son, Nicholas.

Mullins brings her 4-year-old and his siblings to Defy Gravity about once a month.

“I think it’s really good exercise for me and them,” she said.

Mullins said during the workout she keeps in mind the potential danger of trampolines, especially at indoor facilities where a lot of people jump together.

Mike Carpenter, the owner of Defy Gravity, said in the past 14 months the arena has been open, he’s had more than 200,000 customers. In that same time, there have been 53 injuries.

He said that’s a low number, compared with other active sports.

“A lot of it is personal responsibility,” Carpenter said. “If you come out to get hurt, you’ll get hurt.”

Jimmy Rogers took his son to Defy Gravity last year, and the boy was injured.

“He hit his mouth, crushed the bone of the jaw and knocked two teeth completely out and a third most of the way out,” Rogers said.

He admits his son is probably to blame, but he would like to see more regulations placed on the fast-growing trampoline park industry.

Now, there are about 160 trampoline parks around the country.

Recently calls for more safety regulations in the industry led the American Society for Testing and Materials, a group that develops technical standards for products, to create a set of standards for parks like Defy Gravity.

The new rules range from maintenance and operation to installation of trampolines.

The state’s Department of Labor is deciding whether to adopt the new standards. The standards provide detailed information on the design of trampolines, covering topics such as device analysis, drawings and records, and regulatory body review.

“Anything we can do better, I’m always for that,” Carpenter said.
 

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  • bahamababy2 Aug 20, 2013

    First of all, I wish this would have been done as an undercover exposé. My daughter was injured at defy gravity back in October 2012, and has just begun to walk, with out the use of crutches or a boot, in July of 2013. At the time of her injury, they didn't have a first aid kit, had no emergency protocols in place, and do not document incidents that occur on their premises. The "waiver" that you sign is a copy from a Nebraska trampoline park, all they did was change the location name. Also, they have no idea if the person filling out the "waiver" is even the parent/guardian of the said minor. When I questioned about that, the owner, stated that she isn't concerned about it, if its on file, then they are protected. Ridiculous! I will say, that through no fault of my daughters, we have incurred over $75,000.00 worth of medical expenses. I wish this was a better story regarding the dangers of places that like these that don't care.

  • kbkline Aug 14, 2013

    "He admits his son is probably to blame"...... And then there's the 'but' after that statement. We live in such a wuss world now.

  • rocket Aug 14, 2013

    "Once again, some people can't or won't understand the concept of "regulation". The "regulations", if any, are placed upon the provider of the goods or services to insure a MINIMUM level of safety or a BASELINE of standards and practices that ALL must meet."

    There are negligence laws to cover this type of thing and no business will last long if people are being injured due to faulty or poorly maintained equipment. There is nothing in this article that indicates the trampoline courts are being negligent.

  • Holy Carp. Aug 14, 2013

    "These things are proven to be dangerous. One can easily land the wrong way and become paralyzed from the neck down."

    This all falls on the partents of the kids. If you don't think it's safe don't take your kids there. It's a choice. You can also become paralyzed from wrecking on a bike, missing a step, running, etc etc...Bottom line is parents and adults have the ability to make a sound decision if it's safe or not. Everybody wants to pass the blame on too much these days.

  • RadioDJ Aug 14, 2013

    "Most of us don't need the GA to tell us jumping on a trampoline comes with a certain level of safety risk. rocket"

    Once again, some people can't or won't understand the concept of "regulation". The "regulations", if any, are placed upon the provider of the goods or services to insure a MINIMUM level of safety or a BASELINE of standards and practices that ALL must meet. If the equipment or the facilities are found to be out of compliance, they are then able to step in to enforce the regulations. If every business owner was able to provide some level of confidence in their ability to provide a safe environment for their customers, there might be no need for regulations. But some are just greedy, business begins to fail and shortcuts get taken, or equipment maintenance ends, equipment is not replaces, becomes unsafe, but left in use, those types of things. There are responsibilities on BOTH sides of the equation.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Aug 14, 2013

    I think risky recreation should be allowed. The only time I would blame the park is if the accident was due to a failure to maintain the equipment.

    The problem is that we've drummed the risk out of everything to the point that people assume it's safe if they are allowed to do it. I'd like to see a sign out front with the number of injuries and some examples. As a parent I can decide if 53 out of 200K is reasonable and if I see a lot of dental injuries, I can make my son wear a mouth guard.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 14, 2013

    These things are proven to be dangerous. One can easily land the wrong way and become paralyzed from the neck down.

  • JustAName Aug 14, 2013

    If your kid is too stupid or unwilling to follow the safety rules, then don't drop them off to be babysat by a business owner.

  • rocket Aug 14, 2013

    "Good luck getting our GA to regulate anything!"

    Most of us don't need the GA to tell us jumping on a trampoline comes with a certain level of safety risk.

  • MonkeyFace Aug 14, 2013

    Is't it a "jump at your own risk" kinda place? I would assume that you have to sign a waiver to jump in the first place. I don't know that I would ever take my daughter to a place like that, and she's 7. Common, haven't you ever seen the kids go crazy in the Chick-fil-a play place? lol. But I have to say, its a pretty neat idea!

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