Over the past couple of years there has been a huge surge in trampoline parks in the UK, in fact since 2014 around 200 have popped up around the country! At first glance these it seems like the perfect day out to burn off the energy of your children or to release your inner child, however how safe are these parks?
In 2017, ambulances were called out to 1,181 incidents at trampoline parks across England. This works out to more than 3 a day! The most common category for all trampoline injuries was bad landings at 63%.
44% of those treated for injuries sustained in trampoline parks had suffered from fractures. In some incidents people are suffering from life-changing injuries. A 20 year old sustained a double neck fracture and spinal damage when he jumping from a trampoline into a foam pit but landed on the edge. He know does not know if he will be able to walk again.
Companies have opening themselves up to personal injury claims when injuries are sustained due to unsafe conditions in the trampoline park.
What seems to be most worrying is that even though more parks are being set up they are neither regulated nor abide by basic safety precautions. Some parks are falling below the standard of being safe and are still being allowed to operate causing injury to people through financial and commercial reasons.
With the increase of trampoline parks and injuries a voluntary safety standard was designed by the British Standards Institute working with the IATP, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and British Gymnastics. There are no safety regulations specifically aimed at trampoline parks, but this voluntary standard gives guidelines to members in an attempt to avoid injury.
Unfortunately although efforts have been set up to limit the chances of accidents occurring, just under half of existing parks are members of the IATP.
The only way that regulation would work would be the government setting legislation which does not seem to be their priority in the near future.
In the mean time to make sure users are as safe as possible the following steps are recommended:
- before entering the park check that there is an ITAP sticker is on the door, this means that they are a member of safety standard
- Pay attention to the safety briefing
- Make sure you jump within your ability
- Remember 1 person to 1 trampoline