Study: Roller Coaster Injuries Not As Prevalent As Bouncy Castle Injuries
March 23, 2014, 04:15:00PM. By Heidi Turner
Denver, CO: Although it may seem like thrill rides and roller coasters are the rides that would most commonly result in theme park accidents, it may in fact be the less adrenaline-pumping attractions that result in the most injury. Amusement park accidents get a lot of media coverage, but a recent study suggests that it is the bouncy castles that result in the most injuries. Meanwhile, trampoline parks are falling under scrutiny after reports emerged of serious injuries sustained in trampoline accidents. Amusement park lawsuits have been filed concerning some trampoline parks.
A study conducted by researchers at Ryerson University in Canada suggests that more children are injured on inflatable attractions, such as bouncy castles, than on amusement park rides. According to a press release that accompanied the study, a 2010 report issued by the National Safety Council found that the risk of being injured on an amusement park ride is four in a million, and of those four, fewer than one percent are hospitalized for a night.
To conduct the study, researchers gathered information from the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), reviewing hospital emergency room injury reports linked to amusement rides. Lead researcher Kathryn Woodcock found that 42 percent of the injuries reported were linked to inflatable bounce attractions and 20 percent were linked to roller coasters. Carousel-related injuries and bumper car-related injuries were third and fourth on the list. Researchers noted, however, that in one-third of the 13,000 injuries included in the report, no specific ride was linked to the injury.
Owners of trampoline parks, becoming increasingly popular, might want to take note of that study. Lawsuits have been filed against various trampoline parks – attractions that focus on bouncing on trampolines – alleging park visitors were seriously harmed due to problems at the park.
One such lawsuit was filed against a trampoline park in Houston, after a 16-year-old fell through a rip in the trampoline canvas, striking his head on the concrete below. According to Fox News (2/18/14), the teen sustained skull fractures, seizures and bleeding on the brain. His family says that although he survived, he has suffered long-term injury, including no longer being in honors classes.
Meanwhile, an investigation by 9 News (2/20/14) in Denver, found paramedics were sent to trampoline parks in the area dozens of times in the past three years. Injuries reported included fractures, concussions and neck injuries.
Trampoline parks are currently for the most part unregulated, although officials in some states are reportedly investigating enforcement of the parks.