This 9-Year-Old's Horrific Injuries Show the True Dangers of Trampoline Parks

boy with severe leg injuries from indoor trampolines
Cortney Moreno/Facebook

At first glance, trampoline parks seem like a fantastic idea. They're a fun, relatively inexpensive place to take your kids so they can jump off all of their excess energy. But those innocent trampoline parks can be a lot more dangerous than most parents realize. After her son severely injured one of his legs at an indoor trampoline park, one mom is speaking out to warn other parents about the hidden dangers of trampolines -- and her post has inspired dozens of people to share their own disturbing stories.

  • Cortney Moreno's son, Dominic, had just turned 9 years old when he fractured his leg in several places at a trampoline park.

    Dominic's injury happened in March 2017, and Moreno wrote about it on Facebook three months later, in a post that's now going viral. In her post, Moreno wrote that Dominic was celebrating his birthday at the park when he was severely injured. "Dominic was [double] bounced by a much older/bigger teenager. The employee of the trampoline park told our son to stand up -- as if he could walk off -- knowing another kid was still jumping in his square," she wrote.

    According to the mom, as Dominic stood up, the older kid next to him bounced on the trampoline, causing the 9-year-old to collapse instantly. "He could no longer stand up after that," Moreno said.

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  • According to Moreno, employees don't force the other kids to stop jumping when someone is injured.

    She says the presence of other kids who were jumping only exacerbated Dominic's already serious injuries. In the end, Dominic fell and "broke his tibia, both growth plates and his knee muscle had completely flipped over." These injuries all happened within 30 minutes of their arrival at the trampoline park. 

    The next few months of Dominic's life were spent in and out of the hospital. The 9-year-old had to have his entire knee muscle flipped back into place, a clamp installed to hold the muscle together, external fixtures to stretch his growth plates, and a metal rod inserted in his leg to hold everything properly in place. "Our lives have been turned upside down since Dominic's accident," Moreno wrote. "Every day was a struggle for this sweet boy as he adjusted to life in a hospital bed in our living room."

  • After his accident, Dominic was left bedbound for months.

    "He became used to urinating in a cup for almost 2 months, sponge baths by his mother every other day," Moreno wrote. "The most movement he could endure was when someone would hold his leg, not over six inches, so we could change his sheets." The young boy was forced to finish out his third-grade year in the hospital with tutors and had to suffer through "the countless nights of crying in pain and feeling helpless."

    But through all of her son's suffering, Moreno says the most shocking revelation was when a doctor told her that trampoline parks are a "leading [cause of] injury to children." In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics actually released a statement saying that trampolines of all types are unsafe for children at any age, due to the serious risk of "cuts, sprains, broken bones, and even spinal injuries." It recommends kids only use trampolines in supervised training environments, like gymnastics or diving classes.

    A study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal found that between 2010 and 2014, the number of trampoline park injuries increased from 581 to 6,932, and between 2002 and 2011, there were more than one million emergency room visits due to trampoline injuries. The most common trampoline injuries are fractures, and about half of all injuries reported occurred in kids under 6. A number of injuries are also attributed to allowing more than one child to jump on a trampoline at a time because, as one study notes, when one kid lands right after another person bounces, there is "significant upward impaction force applied to the descending child's legs." In other words, the impact on the landing kid's legs is greater, to a point where it can actually cause major injuries.

  • Many parents who read Cortney Moreno's post had horror stories of their own.

    Cortney Moreno Facebook comment
  • One mom said a friend of hers was actually paralyzed at a trampoline park.

    Cortney Moreno Facebook comment
  • There were also plenty of stories of kids who walked away with broken tibias and growth plates just like Dominic.

    Cortney Moreno Facebook comment
  • Some were even forced to suffer through broken jaws.

    Cortney Moreno Facebook comment

    One thing all of these parents had in common was that they had no idea trampoline parks were so dangerous. 

  • A little over a year later, Dominic is finally doing much better.

    After months of physical therapy for Dominic and his having to relearn how to walk, Cortney Moreno says that there are still many ups and downs. Her son's injury was something no parent or child should have to go through, but she says she's glad something good came out of it -- the ability to spread awareness. "Please, know the dangers of these trampoline parks," she said in a Facebook post last weekend.  "I can't imagine another child having to go through what he has."

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