Ups and downs of home trampolines

Family trampolines are popular across Tennessee. Drive around any neighborhood in the Chattanooga area, and you’ll likely see them dotting yards on both sides of the street. Regardless of the size, trampolines have one thing in common: they are dangerous, especially for children.

Private trampolines are responsible for nearly 100,000 ER visits each year. Injuries are so common that many homeowners’ insurance companies either refuse to cover them as part of general policies, or require a special rider – with an additional cost – before coverage can begin.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been cautioning against trampoline use since 1977, an action which prompted schools to stop using them. Despite those warnings, trampolines haven’t waned in popularity: an estimated 500,000 new ones are sold annually across America.

Fun comes at a price

The main reason trampolines remain so popular is simple: they are fun. Children in particular love the freedom of bouncing high up in the air and being outdoors getting both exercise and fresh air. Parents like them because they encourage physical activity and they don’t involve any “screen time.”

Fun as they may be, in many cases, the risks may outweigh the benefits. The high heights to which kids jump, the hard-mat surface, the steel springs and the hard aluminum frame can easily lead to serious injuries like:

•· Bone fractures (noses, arms, ankles and digits are particularly susceptible)

•· Dislocations of knee, hip, shoulder or elbow joints

•· Concussions and other brain trauma

•· Severe cuts requiring stitches

•· Strains and sprains

•· Ligament trauma

•· Spinal cord injury

To lessen the risk of serious injury, manufacturers and sellers offer safety equipment such as padding designed to go over the springs and safety netting to go around the trampoline. Unfortunately, homeowners do not always install such equipment, and sometimes they let such equipment fall into a state of disrepair to where the equipment is no longer useful.

Sometimes homeowners allow too many children or adults on the trampoline at one time. Sometimes homeowners may not supervise the behavior of the children or adults on the trampoline, which may lead to pushing or other horseplay that increase the risk of injury.

As you can see, trampolines are dangerous. If a serious injury occurs, it might be just one of those freak occurrences. But it also may be because the manufacturer possibly designed something about a particular trampoline that was unreasonably dangerous, or it might be because the homeowner failed to take sufficient safety precautions or was otherwise negligent. If your child was seriously injured on a trampoline, you may want to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.

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