Trampolines are a dangerous risk
By: Darrell Castle
Trampolines have recently become even more popular than in past decades; but along with that popularity, injuries have also risen. Now trampoline-related liability represents a growing area of personal injury law.
There are a lot of issues to consider before buying or using a trampoline, no matter how hard your children may beg. The laws are complex, and the equipment itself is considered very dangerous.
How Trampoline Injuries Happen
The most severe trampoline injuries usually occur when a person falls or is pushed off a trampoline. Because the fall can happen from high in the air after a bounce, the landing can cause debilitating back or neck injuries. In some cases, these types of falls have even led to severe brain damage, paralysis, and death.
Families with trampolines sometimes try to protect from these types of injuries by putting up netting around the equipment. Netting can help prevent dangerous falls, but it doesn’t prevent all serious injuries.
For example, another common injury on trampolines comes from double-bouncing, where one person bounces right before another person to make the second person jump higher. In double-bouncing, users risk collision as one person might land on another. Collisions from falling like that may cause broken limbs, or even neck and brain damage.
Lastly, strains from hitting the trampoline can cause ankle, foot, leg, and back injuries.
These are some of the most severe potential injuries that happen from trampoline use. Other smaller injuries can occur, too, like burns from rubbing against the plastic material and fingers and toes getting caught in the springs.
The Dangers of Owning Your Own Trampoline
When you own a trampoline in say, your back yard, you first run the risk of injuring your own family members. In addition, you are more liable for other people’s injuries. Your homeowner’s insurance would have to cover anyone who is injured on the trampoline – not just your immediate family.
It’s important to report your trampoline to your insurance company, because they may not cover injuries from an undeclared risky piece of property. Your insurance may be higher for owning the trampoline, just because of the added risk.
If you rent, your landlord should be notified that you have a trampoline (or before you ever get one, if possible). They will likely raise your rent to cover their insurance; and they could even say you’re not allowed to use the trampoline on property you’ve rented from them.
Lastly, you have to be aware that a trampoline can be considered an “attractive nuisance,” which means it could entice young people around your neighborhood to come onto your property and use it without supervision. You’re responsible for making sure the back yard stays locked and well-protected from anyone who might want to come in and play.
Potential for Injury at Trampoline Parks and Other Facilities
Trampoline parks, where children can play on wall-to-wall trampolines that resemble a sports field, have been booming in recent years. However, even with walls protecting from dangerous spills, the parks are extremely dangerous. Orthopedic surgeons have seen a rise in injuries from using these parks, and lawsuits have risen up around the country against the facilities.
Trampolines are also used in sports training – particularly for gymnastics – and in military training. When used for these purposes, injuries are much less common. Athletes and military have trained supervisors working with them at all times; and they never use the trampolines for play. They also don’t typically share the trampoline with any other users.
Trampolines and Your Personal Safety
For you and your children to use trampolines wisely, follow the rules gymnasts and soldiers follow:
- Always have supervision
- Use trampolines in enclosed environments
- Never share a trampoline
- Don’t play on a trampoline – use it for workout or training purposes only
If those rules sound strict to you, they are. They’re also the rules provided by doctors who are left performing surgeries on victims who use trampolines any other way. The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons advises against using any trampoline in a home environment.
If you are injured by a trampoline, you may not be liable. Home trampolines malfunction, and facilities promising a fun play date or a safe workout don’t always live up to their advertising. You should contact a personal injury attorney to look into your case. We can help: you can call us at (901) 327-1212 or contact us online to talk over the situation for free.