Parents in California may be looking for ways to get their children excited about exercise to combat the sedentary habits often spawned by on-screen activities. A growing trend, according to Fox News, is trampoline parks. These parks have expanded from a few dozen to hundreds over the past few years, and research indicates that the number of related emergency room visits has also grown exponentially. One study estimated that approximately 92,000 people in the U.S. each year go to hospitals after trampoline accidents.
The incidents often occur due to an awkward landing from a failed trick or an accident involving a second person. While fractures are common, soft tissue injuries make up a larger portion of the physical damage. Some medical professionals have expressed concern over the potential for more severe harm that requires surgery. Spinal cord injuries are also a threat.
According to CNN, a negligence claim against one facility demonstrates just how devastating spinal cord damage can be. The 17-year-old involved in an accident at a trampoline park has lost much of his ability to care for himself due to the injury. This and other lawsuits claim that the risk potential the parks create is not properly mitigated by their designs and the maintenance and supervision provided by staff.
The popularity of the facilities does not indicate a slow-down in the spread of the parks across the country, with some of the largest being opened in California. Business owners shrug off the safety concerns by pointing out the dangers children face in any sport. However, the increasing amount of litigation and settlements may indicate otherwise.