Well, it looks like it will be 80 plus degrees and sunny outside for the first weekend of May here in the Nation’s Capital. This means lots of outdoor activities; pool parties, lawn games, playing in the park…some will even have trampolines on their property, with the neighborhood kids coming over to use them. CBS News reports on some of the hidden dangers of trampolines, as posted in an article today:
Last year alone, an estimated 98,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for trampoline related injuries. 82 percent of them were children under the age of 15.
Trampoline safety expert Marc Rabinoff, of Metropolitan State College of Denver, Colo., calls trampolines “quad machines” because they can turn you into a quadriplegic in four seconds.”
Warnings on trampolines say no flips, no jumpers younger than 6 and only one jumper at a time, but those warnings are often ignored. Koeppen pointed out videos from YouTube that show children jumping and falling from trampolines.
Rabinoff says people don’t realize trampolines are a danger in their backyard. Rabinoff demonstrated to Koeppen how jumping with more than one person can throw you off.
The article goes on to state that ‘safety nets’ placed around the trampoline can reduce accidents by up to 50%. However, they are not required by law. In addition, and take note – insurance companies may not necessarily cover trampoline accidents on their policies. Coming from Florida last year, where I practiced plaintiff personal injury law, I can tell you that I was contacted on more than one occasion by families who had a loved one injured as a result of a trampoline accident. Each time I would check the homeowner’s policy of the responsible homeowner, (if they even had homeowner’s insurance; some didn’t) there was the EXCLUSION for such accidents! No coverage!
The article also suggests that trampoline owners should erect fences around their property, to prevent others from wandering on the property and injuring themselves on or around the trampoline. I, for one, will not be allowing my first-born son on any trampoline anytime soon. In this line of work, you really do get to see the worst of what can happen, when a chain of events causes something to go terribly wrong. Why ask for trouble?