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Trampoline parks: fun until someone get hurt

You may not have heard of trampoline parks before, but they are a relatively new exercise and entertainment trend, typically consisting of a large warehouse-like buildings, which are filled with numerous types of trampolines, mats and areas where customers can jump and bounce. They are popular as locations for birthday parties for children. It seems like a great deal of fun and provides the benefits of athletic activity, but some states have moved to regulate these facilities as injuries have increased.

California has pending legislation that would regulate these trampoline gyms like amusement parks and create inspection programs for the gyms and require insurance, training for the employees and tracking of injuries. Operators of these gyms dismiss the need for such requirements, but last year American Academy of Pediatrics issued warning regarding the use of trampolines.

Their report analyzed data from 2009 and found 70 injuries for every 100,000 for children younger than five-years-old, and that the rate more than doubled for children 5-14 years old. The CBS news report calculated that amounted to more than 98,000 children with trampoline related injuries.

Doctors in a Utah county were asking for more regulation, as they describe the injuries appearing in their emergency room from trampoline accidents as being like those from a war or car accidents. They are seeing "very severe, open wounds," which only result from high-velocity types of accidents.

While owners of these gyms claim they are safer than baseball or soccer, without consistent reporting injuries it is difficult to know if this is accurate or merely self-serving. If you have suffered injuries on a trampoline at a gym or at a private home, you should speak with an attorney to protect your rights to compensation.

Source: CBSNews.com, "Rising trampoline injuries spur local laws for jump gyms," CBS/AP, August 12, 2013

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