Audrick Afatasi was a high school senior and standout football player when an attempted double flip at a trampoline park caused him to sustain a spinal cord injury. Upon landing, Afatasi recalled that he felt locked up and unable to move. Despite going to rehab and keeping a positive attitude, the young athlete how requires a wheelchair for mobility. Afatasi’s story is one of many that highlight how spinal cord injuries are soaring with the increased popularity of trampoline parks across the country.
Trampoline parks are commercial entertainment facilities where visitors pay to have access to large spaces where the floors and walls are designed to contain built-in trampolines. Most facilities also offer foam pits to jump in, basketball hoops, dodgeball arenas, and other such trampoline-focused activities.
The popularity of these trampoline parks has grown exponentially over the past few years. While there were only three trampoline parks nationwide less than a decade ago, this number has now increased to over 800 locations. Today, trampoline parks have become a billion-dollar industry with a presence in most cities across the United States.
While there has been a rapid increase in the demand for trampoline parks, regulations for these parks remain mostly nonexistent. Even the recent trampoline park safety standards being developed by the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) are merely recommendations that trampoline parks are not legally obligated to follow.
Until a state’s legislature establishes trampoline park regulations, there may be no way to ensure that a trampoline park within that state meets certain safety standards. Unfortunately, only a handful of states currently have such regulations.
Reuters Health has found that the number of emergency room visits for injuries that occur in trampoline parks is rising with the popularity of these facilities. Furthermore, CBS News has reported that the volume of visits increased from 2,500 in 2013 to nearly 18,000 in 2017.
While experts say trampoline parks are no more dangerous than home trampolines, their popularity has caused a ten-fold increase in trampoline-related emergency room visits. With over 50 million visits to trampoline parks each year in the United States, the need for additional oversight is critical. While spinal cord injuries from trampoline parks soar as their popularity increases, children as young as six and seven years old have experienced serious injuries.
The lawyers at the Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm continue to monitor the trampoline park regulations being implemented in various states. If you or a loved one sustained a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or any other serious harm while at a trampoline park, call 1-877-SCI-FIRM today for a free consultation.