Should Trampoline Parks Have Mandatory Safety Standards?
Injuries at trampoline parks are soaring across the country
What you need to know
- Between 2012-2017, nearly 500 kids across WA, Queensland and Victoria ended up in hospital from trampoline-related injuries
- Currently, there are no mandatory safety standards for indoor trampoline parks
Trampolines are not exactly the safest things. They fling you high in the air, generally in no particular direction, with no harness, and are often surrounded by a steel frame and springs. Also, they’re designed for kids.
Which is probably why there are lots of injuries. According to research conducted by the University of Sydney, between 2012-2017, nearly 500 kids across Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria ended up in hospital from injuries sustained at trampoline parks, including sprains, broken bones and dislocations.
And the number of total injuries is likely to be higher. Speaking to The Guardian earlier this year, lead investigator of the research Lisa Sharwood said: “These are just cases that attended hospital… There would be many with injuries that will go to their GP, some with a sprained ankle may not even bother going to the doctor.”
Fortunately, in Australia there have been no trampoline-related deaths (globally there have been five), but doctors have reported some life-changing injuries, including spinal injuries that have left people confined to wheelchairs.
Despite the well-known dangers that trampolines pose, there are no mandatory safety standards in place in Australia. However, voluntary safety rules have been developed by Standards Australia.
Speaking to Fairfax, the injury prevention expert, David Eager, said that though some trampoline parks did try to protect their customers, others were only “in for a quick buck, making money and leaving a bunch of injured people behind.” Currently, anyone can set up an indoor trampoline centre and scrimp on basic safety features.
In a statement provided to The Project, the Australian Trampoline Parks Association (ATPA) said it: “has been committed to the highest safety standards for our industry and our members are independently audited each year to uphold this commitment. The ATPA supports the recently published Australian Standards becoming mandatory.”