Many community members are aware that backyard trampolines have been particularly popular over the past several years. Starting in the 1990s, many families began getting these pieces of exercise and recreational equipment, often for their children to enjoy. Lately locations similar to amusement parks have begun sprouting up based on entire rooms filled with trampolines. These “trampoline parks” first gained popularity on the West Coast and are now scattered in a few areas in the Midwest, including Chicagoland. These parks are often in warehouses and include trampolines scattered in a checkerboard fashion across the facility.
A recent report in the Chicago Tribune about these trampoline parks explained the growing popularity of these locations as well as concerns being raised about their safety. Some safety advocates are arguing that these parks pose an unacceptable risk of participants suffering a Chicago brain injury. A Carol Stream based trampoline park has had an ambulance called 16 times since the facility opened in November. One of those victims was a 13-year old girl who fell on her head, reported tingling in her arms, had difficulty breathing, and was eventually discovered to have fractured her neck.
In the last two decades at least 11 people have been killed in trampoline accidents. But a staggering 100,000 trampoline injuries are reported each year nationwide. In fact, Central DuPage Hospital has already reported that they have seen a noticeable increase in traumatic injuries since the nearby park opened, including broken legs, arms, and a head injury.
Currently, Illinois state agencies do not regulate these parks as they do other amusement parks. The Department of Labor explains that only facilities that have moving apparatus are under the regulatory guidelines of the state. In their stead the regulation of these spaces is often done by local governments which frequently have little oversight of the process.
Our Chicago brain injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti know that many activities pose particularly dangerous risk of traumatic head injury. We often document the tragic accidents involving children at amusements parks. However, even with some risk, these facilities must still ensure that everything possible is done to ensure participant safety.
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