Trampoline park accidents are common these days. Some of which has even led to permanent deformity or deaths.
We cannot for the bad news we hear about trampolining throw away the baby with the dirty water. The truth of the matter is that we can enjoy this equipment with peace of mind if we learn and stick to simple safety guidelines. These injuries don’t have to happen.
In choosing a trampoline park, it is important that you consider safety first, before considering other desirable features discussed below. This is because parks differ in their probability of accidents.
The way a park is laid out, the quality of its trampolines, the safety features available at the park, etc, all go a long way in determining how safe a park turns out to be.
The first trampoline park was opened in 2004 by the American organization Sky Zone in the United States. Today the US has well over 600 trampoline parks, in the United Kingdom it has grown from just 3 in 2014 to over 200 today with over 15 million visits yearly.
This clearly shows the love we all have for trampolining. And at the same time possess another problem – how do I choose the safest park to visit with my kids?
The injuries and deaths cannot be denied. But my view is that most of these accidents are needless and avoidable if due diligence Is observed in choosing the best park and sticking to safety rules.
The International Association of Trampoline Parks in response to these accidents made the following statement to CBS News:
“There are parks that do not adhere to industry technical standards, and do not operate with safety at the forefront of their agendas.”
This clearly means you can’t just run into just any trampoline park with your family just because it’s cheap or close by. There are death traps in the name of parks littered everywhere. Don’t go and pay them to kill your child.
We have put together this article to help you choose the best and safest park for you and your kids.
What You Can Do With a Trampoline Park
- Dating Joint
- Birthday Ceremonies
- Fitness Programs
- Family Fun Parties
- Friends Get-Togethers
Why Use Trampoline Parks
The US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health recently conducted a retrospective review to evaluate domestic trampoline and commercial jump park injuries over a 2-year period. Here are their findings:
“There were 439 trampoline injuries: 150 (34%) at jump parks versus 289 (66%) on home trampolines. Fractures and dislocations accounted for 55% of jump park injuries versus 44% of home trampoline injuries. In adults, fractures and dislocations accounted for 45% of jump park injuries versus 17% of home trampoline injuries. More lower extremity fractures were seen at jump parks versus home trampolines in both children and adults. Adults had a 23% surgical rate with jump park injuries versus a 10% surgical rate on home trampolines”.
This result of this research was presented to the public January 2019. It’s clear from their result that trampoline parks are safer than domestic ones. But all the same, parents are still expected to do due diligence in finding the right and safest park to use.
Things to look out for before settling for a trampoline park either for you or the family:
- Accident History
You can get this data from the local hospital that is close to the park. They are often called in whenever there is an injury and the hospital keeps a record of reported cases for record purposes.
- Their Trampoline Brands
Are the trampolines industry standard? Trampolines come in different makes and shapes. The trampoline for public use must possess the following features:
- It must have a sturdy-based
- It must have a rust-proofing attribute
- The trampoline itself must be soft to touch
In a nutshell, make sure the materials are in accordance with the stipulations set by the American section of International System for Testing and Material (ASTM). You can refer to ASTM industry standards here.
The materials used for the equipment should thoroughly be tested, certified, non-toxic and weather-resistant materials. And inline with industry and regulatory standards.
- Their Safety Measures
Trampoline safety accessories such as the SureStep trampoline ladder, the trampoline anchor kit, trampoline safety skirt, and other safety accessories and features should be present in your park of choice.
- Level of Supervision
While having great safety features is a great start to safety at a park, the level of supervision is another key feature. Most of the mishaps recorded in trampoline parks are caused by improper knowledge of the park tools on the part of the consumer, overcrowding of the trampoline and jumpers attempting feats they are not capable of due to undue influence by other jumpers. These can be prevented with the right level of supervision and guidance. To prevent overcrowding, the supervision staff can rely on scheduling. This is another desirable feature for a trampoline park.
- Experienced Trampoline Instructors
A good trampoline instructor knows how to insist on safety while still managing to be courteous about it. He has to be tolerant since the consumers are mostly children.
- Certifications and Recognition
You need to know the registration status of the park. Are they duly registered and recognized by The International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) and other appropriate bodies in charge of trampoline parks? You can conduct a membership search on here to be sure.
Be sure they are working in sync with these regulatory bodies:
- International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) – ASTM
- Australian Trampoline Parks Association (ATPA) – Australian Industry Standard
- ISO – European Standard
- Ask for Recommendations
Plenty of people cannot be wrong at the same time. Ask friends and families of their personal experiences with the park. You can also check out online reviews of the trampoline parks you have in your radar. If there is something wrong with the park, chances are that somebody will mention it to your hearing. Investigate every red flag thoroughly and take your guts seriously.
- Proximity to Where you Reside
You still have to put this into consideration. You can start by cutting down your search to trampoline parks that are just around the corner for obvious reason which is ease of getting in and returning back. But you shouldn’t insist on a poorly equipped and unsafe park because of proximity. It won’t hurt if you need to pay a little more to get a safe trampoline park.
- Their Pricing Plans
You wouldn’t want to spend more than what you should spend for a time out at the park. Make sure that the park you are settling for has some budget-friendly pricing system in place. This does not mean you should go for the cheap and then compromise safety. It is safety first before any other thing.
Nobody wants a park that is reeking of dirt and stench. Be sure that your prospective trampoline park has a reputation for cleanliness and orderliness as a clumsy park is susceptible to incidents.
- Availability of side attractions
There are several fun activities that can be done in a good trampoline park. Some examples are
- Gladiator beam: in this fun game, two players that are both armed with Pugil Sticks aim to knock off each other into the airbag pit that is just below, by knocking each other side to side. The winner is the last person standing on the battle beam.
- Slam Dunk Basketball: How well do you love your basketball? A good trampoline park has adjustable hoops for different heights to accommodate everyone.
- Trick pit: the trick pit is another side attraction at the park that gives you the opportunity to bounce off elevated trampoline beds before landing on the provided airbags while attempting flips, twists and aerial acrobatics for experienced jumpers.
- Other side attractions worthy of mention are dodgeballs that accommodate up to 10 players at a time; the main court where everyone can gather to jump far and high with their loved ones; climbing towers and ninja courses.
How do you know the side attractions that are available at the park? It’s simple, you can check out their websites or call in for clarification.
- Check if they are Operating According to Industry Standards
The International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) provides standards that every trampoline park must adhere to strictly. It is important that there are standards because of the delicate nature of a trampoline park. A good park is one that has IATP membership and follows its standards.
- Provisions for Emergency
It’s difficult to find a park without emergency provisions on the ground but don’t take chances. Ensure emergency cases are properly and promptly handled.
With this guide in mind, it won’t be an issue anymore to find a safe trampoline park for you and your family’s next getaway. Once you find one stick with them. Except if you later find something better elsewhere.
Terkura Vincent is a Trampoline Safety Advocate and CEO of Casdale Trampoline Safety Centre. Our passion is to see families enjoy trampoline with utmost safety. You can help us do this by sharing the articles with other families that use trampoline.
You can reach Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org