National Trampoline Injury Lawyers
When Dangerous and Defective Products Injure Children, Our Team Is Here to Help
In recent decades, trampolines have become a very popular form of entertainment and exercise for many children across the United States. They are common in backyards and trampoline parks have even opened up nationwide so the whole family can get involved. Trampoline sales currently sit at around 500,000 per year, despite many children’s health professionals advising parents to not buy these potentially dangerous play spaces.
With the increased use and popularity of trampolines, there has also been a dramatic rise in the number of serious injuries to children and adults caused by them. If you or a family member suffered a serious injury on a trampoline, you may be able to file for compensation. The Gilbert Law Group® has experience representing individuals and families in product liability cases across the United States. We can help you take on major manufacturers and trampoline distributors and sellers for their negligence in offering this dangerous product.
Call our team at (888) 711-5947 for your free consultation. We serve clients across the U.S.
Alarming Injury Rates
For more than 30 years, medical associations have recommended children be prohibited from playing on trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics first recommended against the use of trampolines for any recreational or sporting purpose in 1977. In 1998, the American Association of Pediatricians called for a complete ban on consumer trampolines. Yet the popularity of trampolines has only continued to grow.
According to the United States Government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), trampoline injuries most commonly occur when a child:
- Lands awkwardly while jumping or doing stunts on the trampoline
- Falls or jumps off the trampoline
- Impacts the trampoline frame or springs
- Collides with another person on the trampoline
Between 2008 and 2017, nearly 1 million children were sent to the emergency room for injuries sustained while playing on a trampoline, with around 89,000 such cases each year. Data collected by the U.S. government shows that in 2019, emergency rooms treated over 93,000 trampoline-related injuries.
More than 85% of trampoline injuries happen at home, and the majority occur when more than one child is on the trampoline at one time. Most injuries occur when safety recommendations are not followed, according to the publication Pediatrics. Younger children are more likely to suffer injury, especially in accidents that involve more than one child on the trampoline at the same time.
Force and Injury on Trampolines
Three out of every four injuries occur when more than one jumper is playing on the trampoline at the same time. Trampolines are particularly hazardous to children when adults jump with them.
A 2010 biomechanical study in the Emergency Medicine Journal explains why the risks increase when multiple jumpers are involved. The researchers simulated energy forces on a trampoline with a 176-pound adult and 55-pound child and found that when the two body masses jump out of sync, the energy transfer to the child is equivalent to them falling more than 9 feet onto a hard surface.
The study’s findings illustrate the significant forces on children’s bodies and the substantial risk of serious injury from jumping on trampolines, particularly when kids jump with anyone who weighs significantly more than them.
Types of Injuries from Trampolines
Head and neck injuries account for more than 10% of all trampoline-related emergency room visits. According to a Pediatrics study, spinal injuries are most likely to occur on the trampoline in relation to flip maneuvers.
The most common types of injuries children suffer on trampolines are:
- Strains and sprains
- Contusions and abrasions
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (including concussion)
Some of these wounds can be taken care of by a trip to the emergency room or urgent care clinic. Others lead to lasting injuries and disabilities that change a child’s life completely. For those who have suffered this type of severe injury on a trampoline, our attorneys are here to help you file for compensation.
Trampoline Safety Recommendations
While Consumer Reports and other medical and consumer publications recommend you do not own a trampoline, many families still purchase them each year. If your family has one, you should know the following safety recommendations from various advocacy organizations and agencies:
- Regularly inspect the trampoline and safety equipment to ensure there are no tears in fabric or cracks or breaks in welded joints and verify that support poles or legs are firmly secured
- An adult should supervise children’s use of the trampoline at all times
- Restrict the use of the trampoline to children 8 years or older
- Insist that only one person use a trampoline at a time
- Prohibit flips or somersaults
- Install the trampoline at ground level
- Locate the trampoline away from structures, trees, pools, and high-traffic play areas
- Use safety pads on the trampoline frame and springs
- Remove ladders and other access points to prevent children from getting onto the trampoline without supervision
Many insurance companies consider trampolines attractive nuisances for children and strongly recommend placing a fence around the trampoline. Some may refuse to cover trampolines under home insurance policies. Be sure to check your insurer’s guidelines if you own or are in the market for a trampoline.
A Lackluster Industry Response
Trampoline manufacturers have responded to the alarming increases in injuries by making modest (and unhelpful) safety modifications. In 1999, the International Trampoline Industry Association agreed trampoline manufacturers would voluntarily place warnings on packaging advising against somersaulting and multiple jumpers, extend padding to fully cover frames and springs, and recommend against use by children under age 6. In the early 2000s, some manufacturers made removable nets available for installation on the trampoline.
However, such innovative safety measures have not made a difference in injury rates. A 2010 study published in Injury Prevention found trampoline injury data from 2002-2007 indicated there was no reduction in injury frequency or severity due to industry safety interventions such as netting enclosures and safety padding. In fact, the same percentage of jumpers continue to sustain injuries from falling off the trampoline as in the mid-1990s.
Manufacturers’ claims that netting has reduced the frequency of falls off the trampoline are not to be trusted. Falls off trampolines continue to account for at least 27% of all trampoline injuries and are the leading cause of head injuries, according to the paper.
Injuries to jumpers who strike trampoline frames or springs have also remained relatively stagnant in the last decade, even after the additional safety measures were instituted. Together, injuries resulting from jumpers falling off the trampoline or striking the frame or springs constitute 46% of all trampoline injuries, approximately the same proportion as a decade ago.
According to Injury Prevention, there may be several reasons for the lack of reduction in trampoline injuries:
- Unsafe trampolines are being sold due to lack of manufacturer compliance with voluntary safety requirements agreed to in the late 1990s;
- Safety upgrades are being sold to consumers but the equipment is easy for consumers to remove from the trampoline;
- Trampolines manufactured before the safety improvements remain in use; and
- Safety equipment, such as netting and padding of inferior quality deteriorates more quickly than the trampoline and is removed from the trampoline even though consumers continue to use the trampoline.
Trampoline Safety Recalls
In the last decade, the CSPC recalled numerous trampoline products from the market due to safety threats to consumers. Some of the largest recalls of trampolines include:
- In 2019, Super Jumper Trampolines recalled some 23,000 units sold on internet marketplaces including Amazon and Wayfair. The recall came after nearly 100 reports of the welds on the trampoline frame breaking.
- In May 2012, Sportspower Limited recalled approximately 92,000 14-foot trampoline models after the company received numerous reports of the safety net breaking. At least one jumper sustained back and neck injuries and broken bones.
- In 2009, Skywalker Holdings recalled approximately 60,000 trampolines after receiving more than 250 complaints that straps supporting the top of the trampoline’s safety netting broke, which presented a risk of the netting support poles falling onto the trampoline.
- In 2005, Jumpking recalled approximately 1 million 14- and 15-foot trampolines and more than 295,000 safety nets when consumers reported that welds on the frame of the trampoline were breaking during use, which caused a variety of injuries to users, including head, neck, and back injuries, broken bones, and sprains.
To verify whether a particular trampoline and trampoline safety device has been recalled, visit the CPSC. If you or a loved one was injured by a defective trampoline, you should report the issue to the CPSC and then call our offices to ensure your legal rights are protected.
The Fight for Stronger Policy
Because voluntary safety measures have not made much of a difference, a different approach is needed to ensure trampoline safety. In 2010, the journal Injury Prevention recommended the following policy changes to improve the safety of consumers who use trampolines:
- Upgrade safety standards so protective equipment and procedures are proven in real-world settings
- Consider controls on trampoline sales to include the implementation of mandatory safety compliance for manufacturers
- Challenge retailers to compete for superior safety improvements instead of competing for price
To date, none of these recommendations have been adopted by trampoline manufacturers, their trade association, or the government.
While a lawsuit can help bring attention to the serious risks linked with trampoline use, individuals can also make their voices heard. Consider contacting the following organizations with suggestions about how to improve trampoline safety or raise public awareness of the safety risks of private trampoline use:
- ASTM International: the organization responsible for establishing voluntary manufacturer safety standards. Contact the Standards Development Division of ASTM
- Consumer Product Safety Commission: You can contact the CPSC via phone at (800) 638-2772 or via the organization’s contact form. To comment on rulemaking, submit a comment through regulations.gov.
- Identify and communicate with trampoline manufacturers and/or their trade association, the International Trampoline Industry Association (ITIA).
After a trampoline accident, you need a dependable law firm to fight for you. Contact our product liability lawyers at (888) 711-5947 for your free consultation.
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If you or a loved one are injured using a trampoline, seek immediate medical attention. Once you have been treated, you should consider your legal rights and how to protect them.
Preserve the trampoline in a dry and secure place as soon as feasible. Carefully document with photographs or video any safety or product defects you observe. Do not disassemble, modify, or remove anything from the trampoline. If you are contacted by the manufacturer after the accident, you are not required to provide them with access to the product. Nor are you required to return the trampoline to them—it is yours.
You should report the injury and the specific facts of the incident to the CPSC using the contact information provided above or submit an incident report to the general CSPC information portal. Then, call our team for legal support.
Product liability cases, especially those against large manufacturers or sellers, can be complex and require serious resources. Our firm has comfortably handled many such cases in the past, and we can likewise help you. Our skilled attorneys have been recognized nationwide for their excellence in product liability litigation.