Trampolines started to appear in the gardens of private houses within the UK around the turn of this century. Since that time, they have become incredibly commonplace, and the reasons why are understandable. The compact nature of the trampolines makes them an attractive proposition for all but the smallest of gardens. The relative success of British gymnastics at the 2012 Olympic Games in London may have captured the imagination of young people. Trampolines can provide a valuable outlet for children to exercise and burn energy either alone or with friends in relatively secure locations, reducing the risk of stranger danger, and possibly prolonging the life of sofa’s and mattresses throughout the land.
Commercial trampoline parks are indoor facilities that have wall-to-wall trampolines ideally arranged to prevent users falling off on to hard surfaces or colliding. Padded or spring walls and floors are usually provided in order to reduce the risk of impact injuries.
An initial trend for trampoline parks in the USA in the late 1950’s fell away, however, the parks have seen rapid growth around the world over recent years, with numbers rising in the UK from 3 in 2014 to over 200 in more recent times, with the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) estimating the number of users at 15 million a year in 2018. Variations on the traditional trampoline park model have appeared over more recent times including ‘ninja warrior’ style assault courses which can include foam pits, diving boards onto giant airbags, swings, monkey bars, swinging climbing walls, ropes and many other elements.
The rise in popularity of trampoline parks has coincided with a reported rise in visits to Accident and Emergency facilities as a result of injuries sustained by users of the parks, some of which have been quite serious.
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