Illinois Trampoline Accident Attorneys
Always on the cutting edge, some of my son’s friends are always looking for different birthday themes. Moving beyond paint guns and ‘Pump it up’, my son was recently invited to a birthday gathering at a trampoline park.
Trampoline parks making their way into the Midwest
Everything sounded great until I Googled the facility and saw a link to a Chicago Tribune article about the new trampoline park trend invading the Chicagoland area. Products of the West Coast, the facilities’ utilize a groups of trampolines to assemble a series of trampolines that combine to form an expansive jumping surface.
Billed as a wholesome family activity, the Tribune article highlighted the Xtreme Tramoline in Carol Stream, IL. Despite a suggestion of inclusiveness, the trampoline parks draw a predominately younger group of patrons with an average age of 16. While all trampoline patrons (or their parents in the case of patrons under 18), must sign a waiver releasing the facility of any liability for injures, my immediate thought was that few of them likely have an understanding of the full extent of their dangers.
A less than stellar record of safety
In less than a year since the facility Xtreme Trampoline facility opened, there has been a steady stream of injured patrons. The Tribune reported that since its opening, 16 ambulances have been summoned to the facility after patrons (mainly teenagers) received numerous injuries including: broken bones, dislocated joints and closed head injuries. At the nearby Central DuPage Hospital, the pediatric emergency room director noted that other patients have arrived with broken arms, legs and even a fractured neck after visiting the facility.
Unlike your common type of amusement park which is subject to a series of federal and state regulations, trampoline parks evade safety controls because the regulations only involve amusements with ‘moving parts’. Hence, its very much patron beware when it comes to their safety at these facilities.
The view from a Chicago personal injury lawyer:
Both the parent and lawyer in me can not seem to shake the concept that a high injury rate (1 on 500) is enough for me to steer my son to other types of recreational activities. However, I fear that other parents may not fully appreciate the underlying dangers at these facilities and may be unknowingly exposing their children to trampoline parks which are inherently dangerous beyond their wildest imagination.
While, the enforceability of the waivers will be a discussion for another day, as with all child and teen activities, parent need to remain vigilant when it comes to the safety of their kids. Though not directly pertaining to trampoline parks, here are some excellent amusement park safety suggestions for parents when it comes to child safety as suggested by Safe Kids Kansas:
- Be a good role model. Children are more likely to follow safety rules when they see their parents doing so.
Supervise your child getting on and off a ride. Make sure the child understands all announcements and posted rules. Also, don’t allow children to supervise younger children on rides.
Always use the safety equipment provided. Safety belts, lap bars, chains, handrails and other safety features are there for a reason.
- Never get off a moving ride. Wait until the ride comes to a complete stop. Also, if a ride stops due to a mechanical problem or safety concern, stay seated and wait for instructions.
Don’t let children ride if they’re too tired to comply with safety procedures. On some rides, it’s important to stay upright and face forward. Also, don’t pressure kids to go on a ride they’re afraid of, as they’re more likely to sit incorrectly or even try to get off.
- Note the limitations of safety devices. Lap bars and chains are not physical restraints — their main function is to remind the occupant to stay seated. If a small child sits next to a large adult, a lap bar might not offer the child much protection.
- Trust your instincts. If a ride looks like it’s poorly maintained or an operator seems to be inattentive or unfit, don’t let your children ride. While most operators pay close attention to safety, there are exceptions, as in any industry.
Was Your Child Injured in an Illinois Trampoline Accident?
Attorneys at Chicago Injury Center have experience litigating trampoline accident cases across Illinois. If you or your child sustained a trampoline accident injury at the home of a friend or family or at a trampoline park, we can help you explore your legal options in order to get compensation for your injuries. Before you speak to an insurance company representative, contact our office today for a discussion of your circumstance with an attorney who knows about these cases.