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Lawyer Blog: Baltimore, MD

It’s Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt: Trampolines and Injured Children

Maryland Trampoline Injury Attorney

It sure looks fun, and who doesn’t want to fly through the air? Trampolines have an irresistible pull on many children; and often Maryland parents buy them because they don’t think they’re that dangerous and, besides, it will keep the kids occupied. Very often trampolines are dangerous and can result in injured kids’ needing emergency surgeries.

  • A nine-year-old was seriously injured at a trampoline park in Hagerstown in March, reports the Herald Mail. The child was flown from the site to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
  • A 3-year-old Florida boy was put in a cast from the waist down in July after suffering an injury at a trampoline park in Tampa, according to the Associated Press. The park promoted trampoline use by toddlers, though medical experts say that users shouldn’t be that young. The child broke his thigh bone, which may have been caused by repetitive pressure from jumping on the trampoline. The cast is expected to be on for six weeks.
  • Older kids can get hurt, too. An 18-year-old Florida resident suffered a broken neck after playing dodge ball at a trampoline park in December. He was transported to a Pensacola hospital where it was found two of his vertebrae were fractured but his spinal cord wasn’t severed, reports the Northwest Florida Daily News. After the accident, the teen was paralyzed from the chest down. His condition may or may not improve over time.

A study by the Indiana University School of Medicine released in 2014 states that, from 2002 to 2011, home trampoline accidents resulted in almost 289,000 visits to emergency rooms for broken bones. If all injuries are considered, those visits increase to more than a million, reports USA Today. The study was published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics.

“We are inundated with injuries,” Dr. Randall T. Loder, chair of orthopaedic surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the study’s lead author, told the newspaper. His study estimates that, over a period of ten years, trampoline use caused an estimated 288,876 fractures, at a cost of more than $400 million. The study estimates that the total number of trampoline injuries resulted in more than $1 billion in emergency room visits. Loder’s study used data from a hundred hospitals nationwide.

Trampoline-related injuries peaked in 2004 with about 110,000, and the number slowly declined to an estimated 80,000 injuries in 2011. One reason may be the increased use of safety enclosures, nets that prevent users from falling off the trampolines.

Loder says the most common trampoline-related injury is an elbow fracture, which may require immediate surgery. Knee fractures that require surgery also are common. According to the study, the average age for those with trampoline injuries was nine. For those with injuries to the spine, head, ribs and sternum (about 4% of the injuries), their average age was almost 17, possibly because they are bigger and can jump harder.

The study looked only at backyard trampolines and did not include trampoline parks. Almost all of the fractures, 95%, happened at the injured person’s home.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against having a backyard trampoline. Your homeowners insurance policy may prohibit them or exclude coverage for trampoline injuries.

If your child has been injured because of using a trampoline, Maryland child injury lawyer Steven H. Heisler understands how devastating any accident can be for a child to experience and wants to help Maryland families obtain the compensation their child needs to recover. Interested in more information on whether you have a valid personal injury claim? Contact Baltimore attorney Steven H. Heisler today for a free case consultation at 1-410-625-4878, or use our online contact form.