Motivation to change typically increases after enough personal pain and suffering. For one Wisconsin lawmaker, that holds especially true.
Like many parents, Senator Chris Larson of Milwaukee was looking for an indoor activity to entertain his family. Also like many parents, they turned to a local trampoline park for help. From the outside, these facilities can look like a lot of fun. Bouncing with your friends and family, burning calories, etc. It’s not until something tragic happens when the average person realizes the reality of most of these parks.
Senator Larson took his family to a park, “and within 15 minutes after getting there, our daughter couldn’t walk,” he said. She suffered a horrible injury and the result was a broken leg. Like many other parents that experience a child being injured, he was left with the same questions.
How did this happen?
Is there an injury log?
Is there insurance?
Do the surveillance cameras work?
Do they keep records of all participants?
Do the employees know how to do CPR?
Is this trampoline park regulated by the government?
Unfortunately, the answer to most of those questions varies park by park. In Wisconsin, like an overwhelming majority of other states, there is no state regulation.
That means, the park does not have to comply with any regulations, inspections for safety, staff training, etc., through the State of Wisconsin. While this doesn’t mean that each park may not have an internal guideline or safety regulation, it is not mandated by the government.
After his daughters injury, Senator Larson wants to bring regulation to Wisconsin, similar to summer carnival rides, which are regulated. In Wisconsin, trampoline parks are not considered rides. However, injuries from trampoline parks are increasing at a rapid rate, and show no signs of slowing down.
Yes, traveling carnival rides are regulated more than established brick and mortar trampoline parks.
Something needs to change.
Senator Larson is hoping to spearhead legislation to make these parks: ” keep an injury log, means they would be subject to inspection on an annual basis, and that you have to have a minimum of one person on shift who’s able to do CPR or first-aid when there’s an injury.”
If legislation is proposed and passes in Wisconsin, as of 2020, they would be one of a handful of states that regulate trampoline parks. There is a long way to go, and the hope is that more Senators and Lawmakers notice the staggering data and help prevent children from getting hurt, and unregulated trampoline parks running amok.