Trampoline parks have skyrocketed in popularity since 2000. As the popularity of trampoline parks has grown, the number of emergency room trips and lawsuits filed due to injuries sustained at trampoline parks has also increased. As a result, trampoline park owners need to protect themselves by taking steps to make their parks safer. Purchasing liability insurance will protect them if they are named as a defendant in a lawsuit.
The industry remains mostly unregulated
According to the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, from 2002 to 2011, more than 1 million people were seen in the emergency room with injuries sustained at a trampoline park. There are currently 800 trampoline parks operating throughout the United States, and an estimated 50 million people in North America visited trampoline parks in 2019.
Yet despite their increasing popularity and the corresponding rise in the number of injuries sustained at trampoline parks throughout the U.S., trampoline parks remain relatively unregulated. Only eight states have tried to pass legislation explicitly regulating the trampoline park industry. The industry remains unregulated at the federal level.
It’s time to improve trampoline park safety
Common injuries at trampoline parks include sprains, strains, abrasions, cuts, fractures, concussions, and bruises. Injuries may occur when users collide with one another, fall on the trampoline springs or frames, land improperly while jumping or performing stunts on trampolines, or when they fall or jump off the trampoline.
Trampoline park owners can protect themselves by implementing and enforcing the following safety procedures and protocols:
- Require adult supervision.
- Train staff members to be aware of height and weight differences between users. Make sure they understand those differences can create unsafe conditions when users jump closer to one another or on the same trampoline
- Prohibit guests from performing stunts.
- Require that guests remove shoes when jumping on a trampoline.
- Only allow guests to bounce with guests of a similar height, weight, and age.
- Guests should be spaced out when bouncing with other guests.
- Do not allow guests to carry objects with them onto the trampolines.
- Post appropriate warning signs.
- Require that guests sign liability waivers.
Trampoline park owners and operators must take proactive steps to prevent injuries. They should adhere to the industry standards that do exist and keep detailed incident reports of any injuries that occur. These records can be vital if a claim is made.
Owners must properly maintain their equipment and comply with manufacturer recommendations to ensure trampoline park safety. They should not operate without adequate staffing, and staff must be trained to know and enforce the rules, including making sure that guests pay attention during safety briefings. Also, waivers can only do so much, and that they will not serve as an absolute defense in the event of a lawsuit.
Commit to safety with the right insurance program
To protect themselves and their businesses, trampoline park owners should, at minimum, purchase a general liability insurance policy.
Our McGowan Family Entertainment Center (FEC) Insurance program delivers coverage and loss-control services to help trampoline park owners and operators.
We invite you to learn more about the McGowan Program Administrators Family Entertainment Center Insurance Program. Contact us today to learn how we can help with insurance and risk management for trampoline park owners.