As children, we all loved playing on trampolines, bouncing up and down and doing all sorts of tricks like backflips and somersaults. All that jumping was also a great form of exercise for energetic children. Some of us might have even dreamed of having a trampoline in our backyard. However, we typically don’t get this as children due to a lack of ample space or simply because of parents who disagree for the fear of neighbor kid get hurt on your trampoline that we should have one in our homes.
Now, as adults, possibly with our own children, we are free to decide on getting that beloved trampoline for our homes. We can relive with our children the fun times we had during our childhood. But, as fun as all that sounds, there are more things to consider than just mere backyard space when thinking about getting one, especially when our neighbors pop by to have a go on the trampoline and.
Safety, as always, is the top consideration. We are not just talking about your safety here, or the safety of your household, but also anyone who will be using your new recreational "toy" (like your neighbors’ kids who enjoy playing on the trampoline).
Here in Fort Walton, Florida, we have rules on trampoline safety. Let us discuss them to ensure that your ownership of a trampoline will be fun, safe, and rule-compliant.
Trampoline Safety Laws You Should Know
Having a new recreational item in your home is not all fun and games, and it's definitely not fun when your neighbor's kid is hurt on your newly purchased trampoline. With all the enjoyment a trampoline can offer, it risks injuries to you, your children, and others who play in it. With all the jumping and bouncing around, landing can be pretty unpredictable. Without meaning to, a person jumping might find themselves bouncing out of the trampoline and landing on the ground. And with several persons bouncing around on one trampoline at a time, the risk of colliding with each other increases the risk of injury.
Quite recently, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported over 300,000 medically treated trampoline accidents, 110,000 of which landed the injured party in the emergency room. Some of the most common trampoline injuries include:
Frayed or broken bones which may require surgery
Sprains and strains
Scrapes and bruises
Head and neck injury, depending on the severity, may lead to paralysis or even death.
Given this data, what can you do to ensure playtime stays fun and safe? And what are your liabilities if a neighborhood kid gets injured while playing on your trampoline?
"Neighbor Kid Hurt on My Trampoline" Prevention
The CPSC has recommended some safety tips to prevent injury while playing on the trampoline. First off, kids who are below the age of six should not be allowed on a trampoline, and only one child or person should be allowed on the trampoline at any given time. This prevents anyone from colliding with one another, lessening the risk of injury. Second, somersaults and other forms of stunts should be strictly prohibited, as they may cause paralysis if one should land on their head or neck. Third, shock-absorbing pads are a must, as these cover the trampoline’s metal parts (if there are any), which may cause cuts and scrapes after an unfortunate landing. Fourth, the presence of an adult is indispensable. An adult will be able to enforce the rules mentioned above, as children are more likely to listen to them than other children. And should an accident occur, an adult will know what to do, such as the administration of first aid and calling 911.
Some homeowners ask if they can still own a trampoline in their backyard without a fence. The answer to this is a resounding "Yes." Trampoline owners must use trampoline enclosures or fences to help prevent the children from bouncing out of the trampoline and landing on the ground. This will also help prevent future trampoline accidents from happening.
Homeowners Liability for Injured Children
Of course, when we have something enjoyable at home, we will want to share it with others. In the case of a trampoline, our children will want to invite children from the neighborhood to play with them in your backyard. What happens if any of these neighbors’ kids get into an accident while at your home playing on your trampoline and get injured? Can you be sued by the child’s parents or legal guardian? If so, what defenses are available to you? Are there any trampoline laws that protect your rights? Or the rights of the injured party?
Suppose you are in the Crestview, Florida area and a child gets injured while playing on a trampoline on your property. In that case, the child’s parents may have a cause of action against you under the Premises Liability Law.
Under this law, a property owner has an obligation or a duty to ensure that their property is reasonably free from hazards that may cause injury to another. An action under the Premise Liability Law presumes that there is a legal duty on the part of the owner to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of his property. Further, should any untoward incident happen, it is presumed that the owner was negligent in ensuring safety. If you are found to have been negligent, then you will be held liable under this law.
Homeowner’s Defense in a Premises Liability Suit
What do you do if you are a trampoline owner and you are being sued for the injury of a child in your home while playing on your trampoline? The best thing to do if you are being sued is to call a lawyer in your area. If you are in the Crestview or Fort Walton area in Florida, you may call our Browning Law Firm, where we have a team of lawyers and staff who are experienced in personal injury suits.
If you are a defendant in such a case, your lawyer will diligently study your case to set up a proper defense for you. One thing your lawyer will look into is whether or not you were negligent. He will look into the circumstances under which the accident occurred, such as: if you were able to take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries from happening, or if you administered the proper actions post-injury.
This is why it is important to follow the guidelines discussed above. Not only can these precautions prevent accidents, but strictly following them may be your way out of a messy personal injury suit if you find yourself in an unfortunate accident.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Now
If you still want to know more about trampoline safety laws in Florida, or what you can do if you are ever a defendant in a trampoline accident case, call us, and we will help you out. Your first consultation is absolutely free, and you won’t need to pay anything. We're always happy to assist.