In a recent Sonoma County case, a 10 year old was playing at a friends house and they started playing a game called “Popcorn” on the trampoline. One person sits on the edge of the trampoline and the other jumps hard into the middle, propelling the person sitting on the side into the air. The 10 year old was propelled into the air and outside the trampoline where she fractured her ankle badly. The 10 year old’s family sued the father who was at home with the children for failure to supervise and the case was settled out of court for some $700,000.00.
Backyard trampolines are very common here in Sacramento due to our year-round mild weather; and bouncing has been a great way for kids to burn off their excess energy for generations, however trampolines can be quite dangerous. Dangers include falling from the trampoline, or landing incorrectly within it, which can result in significant head, neck or back injuries. Every year, almost 100,000 emergency room visits are attributed to injuries sustained while using trampolines. Most of those injuries – upwards of 80% – occur in children under 15 years of age.
The risk of backyard trampolines has been deemed great enough that the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised that trampolines should be used only within supervised programs with trained personnel – for example, within a gymnastics class – and not in private homes or unsupervised play areas. Despite the warning, sales of backyard trampolines have risen to approximately million sold per year.