Celebrity Families

Hundreds of children suffer horrific injuries at Australian indoor trampoline parks

With some sustaining catastrophic spinal injuries.

By Bettina Tyrrell
With their springy floors and walls indoor trampoline centres sound like the perfect place to bring the kids to bounce off some of that inexhaustible energy.
However, shocking new figures from the University of Sydney revealed almost 500 children and teens have presented to hospital emergency departments with injuries sustained at trampoline parks in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia between 2012 and 2017.
The figure is frighteningly large, but it's just a snapshot of the size of the issue as the study did not include information from the other states or adult injuries.
The most common injuries recorded were were fractures and sprains, but almost 20 per cent of patients had serious spinal cord and head injuries.
Since the study's release, child-safety experts are urgently calling for a mandatory Australian Standard to regulate indoor trampoline parks to keep users safe.
"A draft standard is undergoing review, but it may never become mandatory because unfortunately sometimes it takes significant incidences and events for that to happen," said lead author Dr Lisa Sharwood, an injury epidemiologist from University of Sydney.
"While there's none in existence, the most urgent thing is for park operators to adhere to basic safety standards."
Alarmingly, only one-fifth of all trampoline park operators are part of the Australian Trampoline Park Association (ATPA), which requires members to adhere to its Code of Practice.
Indoor trampoline parks Xtreme, Just Jump and Flip Out, have chosen not to join the ATPA, while Air Factory, Bounce INC, Hangtime, Jump & Climb, Sky Zone and Supatramp are ATPA members.
Experts call for mandatory Australian Standard to regulate indoor trampoline parks to keep users safe.
Many of the indoor parks allow children over 12 years to jump without parental supervision. The location of trampoline parks - often in or near large shopping centres or malls - makes them appealing to parents who may like to drop the kids off while they spend an uninterrupted hour doing the grocery shopping or running errands. Therefore, the need to have standardised safety practices is imperative.
The ATPA said they're encouraging all parks and industry manufactures to become ATAP accredited members as they believe it is the safest and most responsible option for people looking to have fun at a trampoline park.
A spokesperson for Federal Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said the government took all incidents of injury to consumers "extremely seriously".
"The government is aware that Standards Australia is working with industry and medical professionals to develop new guidance for safe operation of trampoline parks," she said.