Trampoline parks just aren’t safe. And trampolines aren’t either, doctors say

If you ask doctors, they’ll likely tell you that trampoline parks aren’t safe.

And that was before Victoria father Jay Greenwood died of his injuries after he performed a series of “acrobatic maneuvres” at the Extreme Air Park in Richmond.

In fact, many doctors will tell you that trampolines themselves aren’t safe, either.

“We’ve seen reports from our colleagues, both in our health authority, also around the province, that they’re seeing a significant number of injuries come out of trampoline parks,” Dr. Emily Newhouse, medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), told Global News.

In 2007, the Canadian Pedatric Society (CPS) released a report that compared the prevalence of injuries requiring admissions to hospital in various sports and recreational activities.  Trampolines ranked high out of the activities CPS examined, with an injury hospitalization prevalence of 12.4 per cent, behind alpine skiing (12.9 per cent) and above snowboarding (12 per cent).  The society called trampolines a “high-risk activity with the potential for serious injury.”

And trampoline parks?  The CPS has said those “aren’t any safer,” according to Newhouse.  Last year a teenager from Sherwood Park, Alta. suffered a spinal cord injury after he did a front flip into a foam pit at Jump Park Trampoline.  Landon Smith was paralyzed from the neck down.  “[I] couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, kind of like being under frozen ice,” he said.

Extreme Air Park is still open for business after the accident, and a sign on the door is the only clue that anything happened there.  The business did not return Global News’ requests for comment.  But staff have expressed their condolences online.  Extreme Air Park team member Austin Dremeneau wrote, “Although our team [was] supervising, it is impossible to prevent any accident that happens in such an instantaneous manner that is not a result of equipment failure, even with a one-to-one staff to customer ratio.”

Posts on sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor have expressed safety concerns about Extreme Air Park in the past.  Newhouse thinks it’s time for new rules around trampoline parks.  “We think we maybe should be examining whether we need some sort of regulation for these,” she said.

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