Experts warn of trampoline park dangers

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Kids and trampolines are a classic combination, but one after the other, kids get hurt on backyard trampolines.

Now, trampoline parks are popping up all over Utah and experts tell ABC 4 News they’re as dangerous as backyard trampolines and kids like 6-year-old Anthony Fillerup are getting hurt.

“I jumped, I hit my arm, it hurt so bad,” said Anthony as he described his accident.

In fact, a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics outlines the same safety precautions should be used at trampoline parks as backyard tramps, but ABC 4 News found out that doesn’t seem to be happening.

Gymnasts at Academy West use trampolines in competition and for training, but not for recreation.

There are rules to keep them as safe as possible, like jumping in the center of the trampoline.

“Only one student on the trampoline at a time. We never let two students on the trampoline at the same time,” said Coach Joe Gourley.

Gourley tells ABC 4 News when those rules are broken kids get hurt.

“I don't think they have any of those rules,” Gourley describes the situation at trampoline parks.

Anthony took trampoline lessons at Academy West, but when he went to Airborne Trampoline Park for a birthday party he broke his arm.

“I was like bouncing and I went too high and snapped my arm. It really hurt,” said Anthony.

He got bounced by an older kid.

It was the same situation we saw with our undercover cameras. After the parent signs a waiver the kids take off on their own.

ABC 4 News saw big teenage kids jumping and flipping on the trampolines along side small children.

“That's incredibly dangerous to have 2 on the trampoline at a time because an athletes bounces can be transferred from one to the other and that can launch them unsafe distances,” said Gourley.

During our investigation, an ABC 4 News producer didn't get any warnings for his kids he took to that Airborne tramp park.

“Any safety issue, anything like that that they should know about?” said the ABC 4 News Producer. “No, we have people out there making sure they don't do anything stupid or wrong,” answered the worker at the front desk.

But we didn’t see much supervision.

In fact, there was a sign at a lookout post saying someone should be there watching but no one was around.

So, we tried to contact Airborne by email and by phone multiple times with no response.

We went there in person to get answers but the owner or general manager were gone.

We asked who was in charge.

“I don't know. I am the Assistant Manager but that doesn't say much,” answered a worker of Airborne.

It’s that type of lack of supervision Anthony's mom was afraid of.

“He knows how to do it, how to be safe but there were just too many people there,” said Anthony’s mom Christy Fillerup.

She's never letting Anthony go back.

“Because they don't practice safe trampoline,” said Christy.

Joe Gourley is warning his gymnastic athletes to do the same.

“They could make it a lot safer if it was a structured environment with supervision all the time. Without those 2 things I don't see how it can be safe,” said Gourley.

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