Trampoline parks have been cropping up in Broward County and throughout the country, offering children a chance to literally bounce off the walls to burn some energy. They are especially popular in South Florida in the summer, where parents and caregivers need something fun and active to keep kids occupied while still keeping them out of the crushing heat.
However, a recent investigation by NBC6 in Miami revealed child injuries at trampoline parks have become incredibly common. Just in the last two years in South Florida, there have reportedly been nearly 300 911 calls made regarding injuries and falls at trampoline parks. In roughly 70 of those instances, paramedics were required at the scene.
Those incidents included:
- A 4-year-old boy who suffered a sprained ankle;
- A 6-year-old girl left injured and bleeding when a larger boy jumped on top of her;
- A boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury at a Broward County trampoline park.
Broward personal injury attorneys who handle such cases know that these injuries are far more common than some parents think, often including broken wrists and leg fractures. Many of these facilities have proven outright dangerous, particularly for young patrons.
Dispatch records showed emergency 911 assistance was required 60 times at one location alone – in one instance twice in a single day.
Throughout these facilities, you may note prominently-posted rules indicating safety is a priority, outlining forbidden moves and grounds for removal from the facility. Typically two employees are required to supervise a given area at any given time. Yet the television journalists observed as numerous teenagers were seen doing double back flips with impunity – even though multiple flips and double bouncing are forbidden. The employees did not intervene.
The American Academy of Pediatrics published an analysis of trampoline park injuries in 2016, looking at trends in emergency department visits for those who sustained trampoline park injuries as opposed to injuries suffered as a result of home trampolines. From 2010 to 2014, they concluded that while home trampoline injuries remained stagnant, trampoline park injuries increased more than 10-fold – from 581 to 6,932. In terms of injuries, patients with trampoline park injuries skewed older compared to those injured during use of home trampolines (average 13.3 years compared to 9.5 years). The most common injuries across the board were sprains and fractures, and those at trampoline parks were more likely to involve lower extremity injuries, open fractures and spinal cord injuries. Most injuries were the result of falls, contact with other jumpers and flips.
The report indicated that just in Broward County alone, at least 12 injury lawsuits were filed against a single company – Off the Wall. Most of those injury claims allege the company was negligent for its failure to offer proper supervision. Trampoline parks often take the stance that these injuries are not their fault, but that of the jumper. Further, most parks require the parent or legal guardian of jumpers to sign a waiver of liability. Every one of these parks requires a liability waiver, and given the language in F.S. 744.301 pertaining to waivers in inherently dangerous activities, may prove an effective defense in many cases, but that does not mean parents should not at least discuss the potential for an insurance claim or litigation, as they are not 100 percent bullet-proof. A Fort Lauderdale child injury attorney can help you examine your legal options.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Trampoline Parks Linked to Hundreds of Injuries in South Florida, July 17, 2018, By Connie Fossi and Dan Krauth, NBC6
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Amateur Fireworks on the Fourth Leave Man Seriously Injured in Florida, July 5, 2018, Broward Injury Attorney Blog