A pile of poles, springs, pads, and netting are piled at the curb ready to be discarded. Only yesterday several children were jumping, bouncing, and having fun until a tragic accident occurred, paralyzing a 9-year-old girl. She and her friend were gleefully jumping and tumbling on a trampoline until the two girls collided, the 9-year-old landing on the trampoline frame. As a result, the child will be in a wheel chair the rest of her life.
Accidents like this happen, every summer, from backyard trampolines. Trampolines are responsible for broken bones, dislocations, and muscle damage. Serious injuries, like this one, have occurred, infrequently; they include broken necks, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries, some of which have resulted in permanent paralysis, even death. Most trampoline injuries are caused by:
· Falling or jumping off the trampoline
· Falling on the trampoline springs or frame
· Improper landing when attempting a somersault or stunt
· Colliding with another person on the trampoline
While the American Pediatrics Association recommends that trampolines never be used at home, many families continue to do so. Although protective netting is available to surround most trampolines, they only reduce the likelihood of users falling off the trampoline; would it surprise you to learn that most accidents occur on the trampoline surface?
If a trampoline is part of your child’s backyard fun, it is important to follow these safety tips.
· Position the trampoline on a clear, flat surface. Never place it on concrete or other hard surfaces. Do not place it close to buildings, playground equipment, swimming pools, roadways, power lines, or trees.
· Make sure the springs, hooks, supporting bars, and frame are securely padded.
· Trampolines should only be used when there is adequate adult supervision. At least two adults are required as ‘spotters’ to help prevent anyone from falling off the trampoline.
· Never use a trampoline at night.
· Only one person should use a trampoline at one time.
· Somersaults and tricks should be avoided without proper supervision/instruction, and then only with use of proper equipment, such as a harness.
· Do not allow anyone to jump off the trampoline.
· Periodically check the trampoline for wear.
· Enclose the trampoline in a gated area so children don’t have access, when unsupervised.
· Make sure you carry substantial liability insurance.
For further information about trampoline safety or for more safety tips, please go to www.trampolinesafety.com.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed during pending litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.