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Utah and California Pushing for Tougher Trampoline Park Regulations

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Jarod Cassidy4 years ago

CBS reports that indoor trampoline parks in Utah and California are under scrutiny amid rising rates of traumatic injuries among visitors. Despite recent warnings issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics discouraging the recreational use of trampolines, indoor trampoline parks are seeing a continued increase in popularity.

Currently, visitors are required to sign a waiver upon visiting the parks, but officials are now pushing for safety video requirements and for warning signs to be posted. Authorities hope new regulations will raise awareness of injury risks among visitors.

Serious Injuries Suffered at Trampoline Parks

“You’ll see a lot of these very severe, open wounds that you don’t see unless you’re in a high velocity type of injury. This is like a war type injury or a motor vehicle crash.” Dr. Craig Cook, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center as published by CBS

  • Records from the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center show that between May 2011 and November 2012, trauma staff saw 52 injuries from area trampoline parks which required multiple doctor visits.
  • Most of these injuries were reported in boys around 19 years of age, and included injuries of dislocated feet, brain hemorrhaging, and paralysis.
  • One recent victim of severe injury was Stephen Merrill, 20 at the time of injury, who was visiting one of Utah’s “jump gyms” when he jumped from a platform into a pit of foam bricks.

    • Mr. Merrill pasted through the foam blocks and hit his head on the bottom of the pit breaking vertebra in his neck.
    • Mr. Merrill, now 22, is confined to a wheel chair and is paralyzed from the neck down due to the injuries he suffered at the park.

Increased Recreational Use of Trampolines

  • Modern trampolines are based on a 1945 design by George Nissan, a professional gymnast.
  • Though designed as a peice of practice equipment for gymnasts and acrobats, trampolines became a source of recreational fun as they became more affordable.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now discourages the use of trampolines for recreational purposes after finding that 98,000 child injuries occur every year due to the equipment.
  • The AAP also notes that there is currently no effective way to reduce injury risk, despite attempts to make the equipment safer.
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