According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more than 91,000 people will go to an emergency room every year for trampoline related injuries. Of that number, 93 percent of those patients will be children under 15. Six children have reportedly died since 1990 from trampoline related injuries. The latest victim was a six-year-old girl from Tremont City, Ohio, who died in June from head injuries sustained after falling off a trampoline.
Most injuries occur when two children hit each other while they jump around together on the trampoline. Children are also injured after they land on their heads or necks, possibly resulting in paralysis or death. Cuts, scrapes, and broken bones can occur when children fall or jump off the trampoline or fall into uncovered coils and springs. Most of these injuries occur on trampolines in private homes.
What can parents do to keep their children safe? For one, insist that each child who wishes to play on the trampoline follow a basic set of rules. Remove children from the trampoline who refuse to follow the rules. Be firm and consistent. A few key rules that we suggest include the following:
- One child at a time plays on the trampoline. No exceptions.
- Somersaults expose children to potentially deadly head and neck injuries. Somersaults are not allowed. Do not allow children to even attempt a somersault on a trampoline.
- Children under the age of six should never be allowed on a trampoline.
- No one ever plays on the trampoline unless supervised by an adult.
Parents can take further steps to keep children safe on trampolines. Trampoline enclosures can help prevent falls from the trampoline, if they are installed properly. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions; failure to install enclosures properly may leave gaps between the trampoline and the enclosure posing a strangulation hazard.
Never keep a ladder or other access set up. This allows children to play on the trampoline without adult supervision. Always place the trampoline away from other structures. If a child happens to fall off the trampoline, he stands the risk of greater injury if he strikes another object. Trampolines must be fitted with shock-absorbing pads that cover the springs and the frame.
Most homeowners' insurance policies require that trampolines be kept enclosed within a fence. Placing the trampoline behind a secure fence will discourage neighborhood children from accessing the trampoline without permission.
Has Your Child Been Injured By The Negligence Of Others?
If your child has been injured it's important to speak with an experienced child injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.