PITTSBURGH — It's a popular and fun outing for kids and adults, especially in our area during the winter.
Trampoline parks have become big business in western Pennsylvania, but they could also mean some big injuries.
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11 Investigates got records of all of last year's EMS calls at four of the major trampoline parks in our area, to see more details about some of the injuries at local parks.
There were 35 injury calls in all. Four of those calls were at the Sky Zone in Cecil Township, while 11 others came from the Sky Zone in Monroeville. At the Flight Fit n Fun in Collier Township, five injury calls were recorded in 2018. The most calls came from the Urban Air Adventure Park in Cranberry, with 12 injury incidents. Those calls include knee and neck injuries, broken arms, fractured legs and dislocated knees.
11 investigates joined several of our sister stations looking at injuries at trampoline parks. In Charlotte, Kelli Kelley tore her ACL while jumping at one park.
"The pop was so loud that I felt like the whole facility should have heard it," she told our sister station.
In New Jersey, Jerimiah Lang's mother wasn't sure he'd ever play with his brother again after he broke his leg at a trampoline park. The break left the 4-year-old in a cast from his hip to his toes.
"I don’t want to see any another child go through what my child went through," his mother said.
Lang's parents are suing the facility where it happened. His attorney has six other suits pending and gave us some video of the moments when his clients were injured.
We asked Pittsburgh injury attorney Bill Kenny why it can be complicated to file lawsuits in these cases. Participants sign waivers before jumping, and some people think the waivers absolve the parks of anything that happens inside. Kenny says if you get hurt because of something the facility did or did not do, you may have a case.
We found two lawsuits against Altimate Air Trampoline Park in North Versailles. In one suit, 16-year-old Haley Patton fractured her fibia in 2016 when another teenager landed on her during "Teen Night." The suit argued the facility only had strobe lighting for the event, and not enough trampoline court monitors. The suit was just settled.
Dr. Barbara Gaines of Children's Hospital says trampoline parks can be good exercise for kids and adults, but injuries can happen. She says she has taken her sons to these parks before. The key is to pay attention to your surroundings and your children.
"Like many things, there's a balance," Gaines said. "It's not that trampolines or trampoline parks are bad, but it is that, like many other things, you need to use the activity or the equipment wisely."
We've reached out to the local trampoline parks for comment, but have not heard back.