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According to a recent study, emergency department visits for trampoline park injuries (TPIs) increased from a total of 581 in 2010 to nearly 7,000 in 2014.

CBS News reports that over the last seven years, at least six people died from TPIs. Meanwhile, the number of trampoline parks available across the nation has exploded over the past few years, reaching roughly 800 now according to Today. Though they are popular play areas, they can also be dangerous, and according to some, may contain design flaws that make injuries more likely among both adults and children.

Trampolines Interconnected with Inadequate Safety Precautions

After learning about several lawsuits filed against Sky Zone trampoline parks in Massachusetts, Boston 25 News investigated the parks to determine the risk of injuries. Investigators discovered that the majority of the injuries occurring at the trampoline parks involved the legs and ankles, specifically fractured thighbones, shinbones, and ankles.

According to the legal complaints, many of the jumpers got their feet caught between the mat and the trampoline’s metal frame, indicating a potential flaw in how these parks are set up.

The trampolines are interconnected, with one set next to the other. This encourages jumpers to go from one trampoline to the next, but if those jumps are not gauged just right, jumpers can miss the center of the next trampoline and land on the edge instead, potentially risking an ankle or leg injury.

Sky Zone’s own incident reports show case after case where the trampoline mats and the protective pads around the metal frame were factors in the injuries. One of the company’s employee manuals warns workers to be aware of the pads.

There are also a lot of people jumping at once, which can increase the risk that one person will run into another, land on top of another, or slide between the mat and frame and break a leg. Individuals are supposed to be separated by size on the trampolines, but videos show that small children frequently are on the same trampolines as larger ones and adults.

Boston 25 News reports that over the past seven years, 224 emergency medical calls were made from the five Sky Zone locations in Massachusetts. Sky Zone has already settled many complaints with injury victims, but the company requires victims to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of the settlement.

Trampoline Park Settles Lawsuit for $3 Million

In 2016, Fox News reported that a Minnesota man sued a trampoline park after a jump left him permanently paralyzed. The 39-year-old was playing with his son when he flipped into a foam pit and struck the bottom. He suffered from a broken neck and severe spinal injury.

The plaintiff filed the lawsuit against AirMaxx Trampoline Park, accusing them of gross negligence for failing to provide adequate safeguards and supervision. AirMaxx later settled the case for $3 million.

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