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Responses from trampoline parks we visited

Aerosports, Oakville, Ontario

I do my best to pride our location on staying ahead of the curve for safety implementation.  There are always circumstances where an opportunity of an injury may occur, as in any other active sport activity, but I do my best to prevent injuries or opportunities for injuries as well do my best to train the staff on proper procedures and preventative actions to be taken.

The major injuries in Canada in the past few years, which I believe there have been 2-3 severe ones across the country, two minors and an adult, involve Foam Pits.  The problem with many companies foam pits are the depth and design.  Our foam pit is 7ft deep of foam blocks, padded on the inside, with a double layer trampoline underneath the foam blocks, a foot off of the ground.  This prevents anyone from being able to dive or jump in deep enough to hurt themselves or bottom out.  If a foam pit is too shallow, it makes the foam blocks a harder surface to land onto with less give, and also allows the opportunity to hit the ground underneath.  The foam pit is also completely emptied and cleaned and fluffed every 4 weeks to prevent the blocks from becoming to compressed at the bottom, creating a harder landing surface.

There is not a regulation in Canada for this, but in doing our research when we designed the park, we wanted to be as proactive as possible in preventing injury.
The other thing that we originally allowed up until 2 years ago was we do not allow anyone to do flips into the foam pit off of the trampolines anymore.  Not forwards or backwards. We found this to be an act that increased the risk of injury to high.

Also this year in May we closed down for 4 weeks to take out 30% of our trampoline area and added a Ninja Warrior course and a Kids Climb and Slide soft play zone.  We realize the stigma some trampoline parks have gotten with a few injuries occurring across the country and we wanted to ensure that we have many other activities to keep kids healthy and busy and off of their Ipads if they wish not to be on a trampoline.

Trampolines can be fun and the risk of injury can be minimal with the proper respect given to the rules, the sport and the implementation of the rules both by the staff and the customer.

Whether it be a trampoline at a facility like a trampoline park or in ones back yard, the risk of landing awkwardly and twisting an ankle or kneeing ones self is always going to be there.  As in any active sport, there is a definite risk of injury when involving yourself in a sport.  Even if all rules are being followed and enforced.

As an owner of the business, a father of two young boys that enjoy the facility, the best thing our team can do is to be as proactive as possible in design of the facility, implementation of the rules, and proper staff training and awareness to customers. 

We strive to be great and we strive to be a fun and safe place for children.  Our Google reviews online are our best attribute to that.  We have the highest rating by quite a bit on Google amongst all of the trampoline parks in the GTA and there are hundreds of reviews specifically talking about our cleanliness, our safety and our great staff involvement with the children.  And anytime that an opportunity presents itself for us to implement something better or change the standard in which we run the business, we most definitely are open to it and change based on better knowledge and understandings of the industry.

I appreciate you reaching out to me and feel free to contact me at anytime.

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Air Riderz, Mississauga, Ontario

As we indicated to you in our prior email exchange, safety is of utmost concern to Air Riderz. We have worked hard to ensure that our guests are as safe as possible and are invested in ensuring that everyone is safe first, and having fun, second. As a member of the trampoline community, we are also obviously concerned about the recent events that have been reported in the news about the park in BC.

On your visit to our facility, you will have noted that we are transparent with our customers about the risks associated with a trampoline park and that we have multiple warning signs posted at highly-visible locations throughout our park. Our ‘Rules’ are prominently displayed by the reception desk where, upon entry, participants can review the rules and address any concerns prior to admission. The first rule is ‘One person per Trampoline’. We also state that there is no diving or head first flips into the foam pit. The signs are highly visible in both the entry and foam pit area and we position staff within the foam pit and trampoline areas to monitor and reinforce our policies. We also have a safety video playing on a screen at our facility and safety announcements that play over the loud speaker reminding guests of the rules. We warn jumpers not to dive head first into the foam pit, do double flips or engage in rowdy behavior.

We are concerned about your investigative findings. There should never be more than one child jumping on the same trampoline at the same time and children should never dive head first into the foam pit.  We are diligent in training our staff to enforce the rules. We do not allow our staff to teach tricks and we discourage participants from performing stunts. Staff are trained to intervene when a guest breaches any rule. As a result, we would appreciate any further details that you can provide (ie. details regarding the date/time of your visit, description of the employee, etc.) so that we can further our own investigation into the incidents you witnessed. Of course, we are committed to addressing and remedying any situation where a staff member has not enforced our rules as stringently as we require. We hold regular staff meetings and retraining for the staff to reiterate our safety standards and ensure they understand the stringent guidelines we place on obeying the rules. In the event that a member of our staff is not committed to the safety of our guests, we want to know about it and we want to address it.

If you have any additional questions we are happy to answer them. In the meantime, we would be grateful for any additional details that you can provide to us regarding your visit so that we can use your observations to immediately improve the safety of our guests.

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Apex, Richmond, BC

We hope that the paediatric sports medical doctor with whom you spoke was informed with trampoline parks and the safety measures contained in ASTM 2970-17 (we referenced this standard which covers the design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, inspection and major modification of trampoline courts in our August 17th e-mail to you) which do not exist for backyard trampolines. They are horses of a different colour and it is not fair or right to lump them together and treat them the same.

As we outlined in our e-mail, we consider ourselves industry leaders using state-of-the-art equipment, sit on the ASTM F2970 – 17 task force, and three (soon four) of us are International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) Level 1 Certified Service Technicians. Unlike many trampoline parks in Canada, we meet and exceed ASTM standards whose purpose is to delineate requirements regarding trampoline courts and to reduce potential hazards to patrons, court attendants and spectators.

We cannot speak to the practices of other trampoline parks, however, our approach is to allow children, (subject to their parent’s permission) to play here during open jump time, children aged six years or younger are permitted to bounce under the close supervision of a responsible adult during Toddler Time (three mornings of the week when the park is used exclusively by young children), and our rules expressly prohibit double-bouncing.

There are many reasons why we choose to use airbags rather than foam pits which include increased court monitor visibility because of the continuous top sheet, in the event of an emergency an airbag can be deflated in a controlled manner allowing first responders to access the subject without causing further harm, and an alarm system is triggered when there is a pressure loss in the airbag. Operators with air bags do not need to worry about injuries resulting from improperly fluffed pits (fluffing is normally required as blocks wedge together and essentially become one large piece of foam). While they are significantly more expensive, it is for these reasons – and others – that we believe airbags are superior and safer than foam pits.

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Energyplex, Kelowna, BC

Energyplex is Kelowna's biggest indoor Family Entertainment Centre with a Gymnasium, Rock Climbing, 4-level  Playground, Ballshooting Area, Laser Tag, Skytrax, Bungy Trampoline, Arcade and a full service Café. Safety is the #1 priority of all our 35 staff members. 
As for the alleged incident you are referring to: this is currently in defense and as such I can not comment on the contents of this.

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Extreme Air Park, Richmond, BC

At Extreme Air Park we document all injuries even scrapes or bruises. Our incident level is extremely low - 3 in 1000 participants, with 1 in 11,500 needing an ambulance. Still, injuries do occur and the risk is highest every time jumpers break our rules, fail to listen to instruction, and fail to follow common sense.

Extreme Air Park facilities are safe. Our records show that all injuries arise from the users actions. Most injuries are adults over 25. We believe the injury rate is greater for adults because children are more anatomically flexible.

Our parks are built to exceed International ASTM Trampoline Park standards (F2970-17), and our inspectors are certified to maintain our facility to this standard. Every inch of the park is inspected frequently, including daily visual inspection, and maintained to the highest safety level.

All of our staff are required to complete and pass a comprehensive training program prior to supervising our courts. Also, our staff are WCB Level 1 First Aid Certified.

Extreme Air Park was the first trampoline park in Canada (2012). Trampoline Parks industry began in the United States in 2009, and injury rates have gone up relative to the increase in parks. Standards and incident rates for back-yard trampolines should not be compared to trampoline parks where equipment is regularly maintained and the parks are monitored by trained staff, and safety protocols and rules are in place

Waivers are mandated and required by the insurance provider. Although we are aware that there are inherent risks to trampolining whether professionally or for entertainment purposes, those risks are created by the user themselves. Our supervision does not eliminate the risk, it only reduces such risk. Our staff cannot possibly know what a jumper is about to do and similarly cannot act fast enough to prevent someone from choosing to do a maneuver that is beyond their ability or against our rules. The customers needs to jump within their ability and in a responsible manner just as expected when visiting a pool or ski hill.

Persons doing flips in our videos are trained professionals. Flips and any acrobatic maneuver should not be attempted by anyone without proper formal training.

Our foam pits are deeper than the ASTM standard and deeper than most parks in North America. We use gymnastics grade foam cubes - the gymnastic industry standard. Our policy in the foam pit is “Land only on your feet or your seat.” Another main rule at Extreme Air Park is no double bouncing (2 jumpers on the same trampoline, at the same time). Double bouncing can occasionally cause sprains and fractures and is not permitted in the park.

You stated you may speak to recent injury news at Extreme Air Park and we would appreciate a clear prospective on these incidents:

- In respect to the boy who went under the trampolines, he did not actually fall through. He played with the velcro flaps that prevent the exposure of the springs. He then leaned against the vertical wall trampoline and slid 3 feet to the floor through the velcro he compromised. He was quickly found, assessed by our first aid team and his mother allowed him to continue jumping. It should further be noted that Extreme Air Park require parents of children under 5 to jump with their child. Although the mother did pay to jump with her child she was no where around when the incident took place. Since the incident we are placing netting under all our springs as an extra safety measure

- The girl who fell 10 feet from the rock wall was harnessed in by our trained team and was instructed to wait by the wall she wanted to climb until our team could hook her up to the wall. She chose not to wait and clipped herself in incorrectly. It is unreasonable to assume our team can be at all places at once and having a one to one staff to customer ratio is unrealistic to operate. We had plenty of staff on the floor at the time this individual was given specific instructions, and chose not to follow them or our posted signage and we believe she was old enough to understand the direct instruction given
to her

- The 47 year old man that regrettably died at the park suffered cardiac arrest, as reported by the CBC, while he was performing a series of acrobatically maneuvers against our policy and posted warnings. Because the cause of death has not been released publicly it is irresponsible for us or the CBC to speculate on the matter while the coroners investigation is still ongoing.

To my knowledge, and checking with Richmond General Hospital, there is no recollection of nose breaks at our parks. This is not a common injury and we object to the assertion. Please confirm with RGH

One of the highlights at Extreme Air Park is the the Black Light period. Two (2) times every hour, for a 5 minutes each time, the black lights come on. The lighting in the park becomes like that of a well-lit evening restaurant with the pads glowing and disco lights throughout. Our special grip sox glow under the black light, and the visibility and safety is not diminished by this black light period

We would also like to point out, and believe it should be mentioned in your documentary for comparisons, that between 2011 and 2015 (4 yr period), 2300 serious injuries including paralysis and deaths have occurred at ski hills in Canada with a 10X factor on this number for unreported injuries. This is a regulated industry which operates roughly 4 months of the year

In 2015 there were 423 fatalities in Canada from pools/water activities, not including spinal injuries or general injuries,. Again, pools are regulated with oversight from the Municipalities

In February 2018 Extreme Air Park called for regulation in Alberta and British Columbia (the only trampoline park in Canada to do so). Although it is our contention that regulation will not prevent the type of injuries that occur, it may give the public a sense of security that parks have oversight. In Spring the Premiers Office of Alberta met with Extreme Air Park for a preliminary discussion about implementing standards and how regulation may work for this industry in Alberta, and the discussions are ongoing. The Premiers Office of British Columbia has not yet replied to our request from February this year, for similar dialogue

People do not stop skiing or swimming or trampolining knowing there are inherent risks to these activities, because the vast majority of the public understand that when common sense by the user is executed, risk is minimized. Participants need to take responsibility for their actions in most anything in daily life including participating in higher risk activities. You cannot blame the mountain for falling off a rock face or blame the bicycle for handling the bike in a way it is not intended. Common sense and caution is important to consider when doing any activity. Life is full of risk and living life in bubble wrap is not living.

We have been very candid in this statement and trust your report will in turn be fair and unbiased. The publicity received on us recently has been riddled with erroneous assertions, hearsay, and with very little vetting just to sensationalize the incidents, and we trust you will present your story with integrity, and in a fair and respectful manner.

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Flying Squirrel, Headquarters

Patron safety is our top priority at Flying Squirrel Sports. Each and every injury is a serious matter, and we have mandatory policies and procedures set for all team members to ensure all optimal steps are followed to mitigate the risk of injury. As with any recreational activity, there is a potential risk for injury. Flying Squirrel posts warning signs and guidelines throughout our parks to educate patrons on how to fly safe. Flying Squirrel also plays safety videos throughout the check-in area. Court Monitors are placed on courts to strictly enforce the rules and monitor patron activity to eject those who engage in unsafe practices. Flying Squirrel also requires at least one team member certified in AED, CPR, and First Aid to be on-site at all times.

Flying Squirrel Sports is committed to the safety and entertainment of our customers. We are at the forefront of trampoline park safety. Our parks employ a patented system of proprietary gas shocks incorporated directly into the trampoline framework that are designed to reduce injuries. While Flying Squirrel Sports recognizes and laments the inherent risks associated with any recreational activity, we are committed to continuing to develop systems to reduce injuries. Flying Squirrel conducts rigorous daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance inspections of the equipment and utilize specialized software to ensure all safety checks are completed.

We will continue to monitor our parks with vigilance and respond to any acts deemed in violation of our rules and regulations. Flying Squirrel Sports has been a member of the International Association of Trampoline Parks since 2015. All Flying Squirrel Sports Trampoline Parks conform and comply to ASTM standards which include; a rigorous manufacturing and design criteria, safety padding requirements, monitoring courts, redundant trampoline safety mats, training, and provide for patron education.

We are aware of the recent tragedies that occurred at the Extreme Air Trampoline park in Richmond and Jump Park in Edmonton. Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to all of the friends and families that have been affected by these tragedies. Flying Squirrel Sports is not associated with Extreme Air or Jump Park trampoline parks. While it is yet unknown who manufactured these parks and how they currently operate, we encourage all people who wish to enjoy trampoline parks to ensure the park is an IATP member park.

Unfortunately, Blake Davies was injured at our Hamilton Park. Our heart-felt condolences go out to Mr. Davies and his family. Mr. Davies was injured attempting a maneuver which is expressly forbidden at our parks. Throughout the park, rules videos and posted signage specifically state which maneuvers are expressly prohibited.

Our staff members promptly responded to Mr. Davies by following Flying Squirrel’s injury procedures. Since Mr. Davies injury, we have taken affirmative steps to ensure that all of our employees are enforcing all of our safety policies and carrying out our response procedures.

Again, we were deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Davies’ injury. Flying Squirrel will continue to be at the forefront of developing new technology and policies to improve safety standards throughout the industry. Our goal has always been, and will continue to be ensuring that all of our customers have a fun and safe experience within their respective skill levels.

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Rockin’ Jump, Burlington, Ontario

Let's begin by addressing the larger concerns you address and then we can go point by point through your observations at our Burlington Ontario location. (Highlighted areas are linked to the study or website from which the statistics were pulled.)

According to CDC statistics an average of 100,000 people are injured in Trampoline related accidents each year however:
Let's compare that to the number of injuries that happen from visiting your local neighborhood park or school playground , here are the CDC (center for disease control) statistics: Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries
About 45% of playground-related injuries are severe–fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations (Tinsworth 2001).
About 75% of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds (Tinsworth 2001). Most occur at schools and daycare centers (Phelan 2001).
Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. Of them, 82 (56%) died from strangulation and 31 (20%) died from falls to the playground surface. Most of these deaths (70%) occurred on home playgrounds (Tinsworth 2001).
On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers than on any other equipment

Now let's compare that to the number of injuries received by kids on their school sports team which averages: 2 million per year

High school athletes sustain an estimated 300,000 concussions per year.
High school athletes suffer an estimated 2 million injuries every year, resulting in 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations.

The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development website lists the six most common causes of childhood injury: motor vehicle injury, Suffocation, Drowning, [poisoning, burns, falls .... No mention of trampoline or amusement parks.

A study published by the University of Indiana School of Medicine was the first to look at fractures related to trampoline use nationwide, and found that over 10 years, trampolines caused an estimated 288,876 fractures... That's 288,876 fractures OVER 10 Years or 28, 887.6 per year....

In this study done by UCDenver
(Page 20) for 2014-2015 shows just facial concussions alone in high school sports accounts for 192,115 fractures in ONE year.
(Page 20) for 2014-2015 shows just facial concussions alone in high school sports accounts for 192,115 fractures in ONE year.

So while we take safety as our number one priority as you can see your child has much more chance of being hurt at a playground or on a school sports team then they do in a trampoline park.
Trampoline parks 100, 000 per year
playground injuries: 200,000 per year
School sports 2 Million per year with 500,000 resulting in Dr visits and 30, 000 hospitalizations. 300,000 of those re concussions to high school athletes.
Do the numbers of trampoline injuries per year rise: Well yes because there are more and more new trampoline parks so statistically because there are more parks and more users there will be more injuries. in this release aimed at rebutting a Dr oz show about the dangers of trampoline parks the IATP 

As our industry has grown from 3 parks in 2009 to well over 1,000 parks worldwide by the end of 2017, there has been a natural increase in the number of injuries reported at trampoline parks. During 2016, trampoline parks welcomed over 50 million jumpers in North America alone.
So 100,000 injuries out of 50 MILLION users in 2016.... that works out to an injury rate of 0.2% of visitors. Far below almost any other  sport.

“The more serious injuries are often a result of flips and somersaults which experts tell us should not be performed by anyone without proper training. Health Canada has been advising against somersaults on trampolines since 2005.  However, somersaults are often encouraged by your promotional advertisements, including advertisement geared toward children.”
This is an interesting position considering many schools, YMCA's and other youth oriented organizations like the boys and girls clubs etc.  also have trampolines as part of their physical education programs and you will see flips, somersaults and multiple jumpers on all of them with little to no training or supervision.

“Other injuries result from jumpers landing in foam pits head-first or on their stomach. Our team documented your customers performing some of these maneuvers as well as somersaults at your trampoline park without staff intervention.”
This is a bit of a phishing statement. Clearly a staff member cannot intervene after the fact other than to issue a warning to not continue that behavior or they will be asked to leave. Are the "other injuries" you are mentioning pertaining to this particular park or parks in general? Where was the staff member mentioned when the jump occurred? If you have footage of this please forward it to us so we can take appropriate action however if the staff did not see it they cannot address it. To date we have no recorded foam pit injuries at this park.

Other medical communities including Safe Kids Canada and the American Academy of Pediatrics have stated that trampolines are dangerous and should not be used recreationally by children. Your company’s waiver implies that you are aware of the inherent dangers of this equipment and that you acknowledge the fact that supervision does not eliminate risk, and only serves to reduce that risk.
Here again is a far reaching statement with little back up .Can children be hurt on trampolines?  Absolutely, which is why we have trained staff throughout the park to monitor and step in when necessary,  but they can be hurt on stairs as well and at pools and playgrounds as we have shown, so do we no longer allow them to use those either?

For every legal expert you can quote I can quote another legal expert that says the waiver is clear and thorough. The purpose of the waiver is two fold-  First it alerts parents to the adherent possibility of injury at the park and secondly that they will be responsible for their own medical bills, that's pretty clear and allows that parent to make an informed decision about allowing their child to participate. Keep in mind alot of parents drop their kids as young as 8 years old off at the park like a babysitting service and come back an hour or two later to pick them up, so the park must protect itself in these incidents.

Now lets address the Burlington specific issues you list one by one:
Several children on a trampoline at once
Without seeing footage of what we are talking about I cannot comment on this - but this is not unusual depending on the age and the jump area.
An area encouraging children 6 and under to jump on trampolines while Health Canada advises that children under 6 should not be on trampolines
This Tots jump (6 and under) is either a specific time of day where only kids that age are allowed to play with parental supervision or there is a specific area in some of our parks just for tots. I cannot speak to the advisory of Health Canada but I can tell you this is one of the most popular jump times/areas in our entire company.
An adult jumping in the area for children 6 and under
Here again I would need to see the specific incident but my first question would be was the adult a parent and where they jumping or sitting/walking on the trampoline with the toddler? Was it a hard jump that made the toddler bounce or a soft bounce that only slightly moved the trampoline? these things matter as to the specific incident.
A young boy getting hurt
Again need to see the footage. What was the nature of the injury? was he hurt on a trampoline or the rock climbing wall or the Foam pit, etc? What was the response of the staff? was an incident form filled out?
Children somersaulting into the wall
What age children? a padded wall? With what force? Were staff present and supervising?

So I believe I had addressed all your questions and statements. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions or would like to discuss any of this directly. Safety is our primary concern because we value the communities we are in and the patronage. We have built in systems to monitor the monitors but no sport or public venue is going to be 100% safe but that is the goal we strive for.

Thank you for the follow up. I have no further questions or comments but greatly appreciate your feedback.

We realize your story is meant to help your viewers make informed decisions and you will paint whatever picture you decide to paint of the situation.

We wish you well with your story.

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Sky Zone, Headquarters

At Sky Zone, the safety of our Guests is our top priority. We are committed to ongoing evaluations to promote Guest safety. As with any physical activity or sport, there are inherent risks. We take several measures to reduce these risks and educate our Guests about safety in our parks.

Sky Zone has not been involved in this investigation and was not informed of the context in which it has been carried out. We take all allegations seriously and analyze incidents internally and with third party industry experts. We welcome access to all the information gathered in this report so we can assess thoroughly.

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Xtreme Trampoline Park, Kanata, Ontario

Xtreme Trampoline Park aims to create a safe environment for our customers and staff. We take any form of injury that our customers have the potential to suffer seriously.  We perform regular maintenance inspections as well as undertake committee meetings to discuss any safety concerns.  To educate our customers, we have not only posted rules and warning signs but also provide visual aids and verbal instructions. To minimize risks, we instruct customers to never attempt manœuvres beyond their ability. We request parent supervision for young children in order to reinforce our park rules and safety guidelines. We have a designated area for toddlers so that they are separated from older youth and adults. We require that all our staff have First Aid CPR training and we provide on-site training regarding emergency protocols.  Nonetheless, as with organized sports and other forms of physical activity, there are inherent risks for the potential of injury. 

Trampoline parks are fast growing and standard safety practices are continuously being developed with ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials). Although our membership to the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) and compliance to industry standards developed by ASTM is voluntary, we believe that our industry should be regulated. People that come to jump on our trampolines want to have fun and we believe it is our responsibility to balance risk versus benefit.