Within the past decade, trampoline parks have gained popularity throughout the United States. The indoor play areas provide an opportunity for your children’s supervised physical activity outside of an organized sports program.
However, while countless parents across the nation allow their kids to use jump time to burn off energy, or choose to bring a group to a trampoline park to host a birthday party, you might be wise to question whether it is safe to do so.
Why do trampoline parks result in more severe injuries than home trampolines?
Hospitalization, surgical intervention and visits to emergency departments are not atypical for those who experience injuries at a jump park. And while trampoline-related injuries are common for those who have a trampoline at home, the injuries suffered at a jump park are often more severe, due to:
- A stronger bounce
- Obstacles placed around the trampolines
- Interconnected trampolines with varying slopes
- The increased number of people jumping together
Ultimately, statistics suggest that more people suffer injuries on home trampolines than at jump parks. However, as opposed to sprains, jump park injuries often involve dislocations or fractures.
If your child suffers an injury at a jump park, you might believe the waiver you signed prohibits you from taking legal action. However, according to a recent court ruling, that may not be the case.
Protecting your children may require more than a liability waiver
In 2015, an 11-year-old girl broke her ankle at a trampoline park. Her mother alleged that the park neither followed safety policies nor provided adequate supervision for their customers.
Meanwhile, the park tried to dismiss the mom’s lawsuit because of the waiver she signed when she bought her daughter’s ticket to jump. However, Kentucky’s Supreme Court recently determined that the liability waivers at for-profit operations are unenforceable in terms of protecting a park from liability in the instance of an injured child.
It might be too soon to tell how similar cases will unfold in other states. In the meantime, if your child suffers an injury at a place where it is supposed to be safe to play, you might want to explore not only your medical, but also your legal, options.