Our Litigious Society + Trampolines

This wasn’t worth a Pit thread.

One of my kids chipped a tooth on a neighbors tramp. Cost us $200 to cap it. Did we sue? Nope. We just told our kids they couldn’t use another kids trampoline.

Time goes on and now more than 50% of their friends have trampolines. I figure we’re being too protective and say ‘Okay, you can jump on a trampoline, but ONLY one kid at a time.’

Kids run off…then immediately return with a permission slip from the parents absolving them from all liability from injuries sustained in using their tramp.

I told my kids ‘sorry, I’m not signing this, don’t use their tramp.’

And in my mind I’m thinking ‘Jesus LawnJartin Christ what a world we live in.’

Buy your kid a tramp, don’t supervise 'em, and make sure your ass is covered. :rolleyes:

Are there people who really believe they can be absolved of all liability because they had a slip of paper signed?

Well, it avoided the problem…I didn’t sign, the kids didn’t jump, lawsuits didn’t happen.

Actually, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you don’t buy your kids a trampoline, and that you don’t allow them to use others’ trampolines. That’s because they cause a very high rate of injury- over 100,000 injuries a year are caused by home trampolines. I’m not one of those helicopter moms that don’t allow their children to do anything that may be remotely dangerous, but it just seems like a no-brainer to me to keep kids away from those things.

Everybody knows that trampolines are dangerous…what kills me is that kids parents KNOW that they’re so dangerous that they had a waiver drawn up so friends could use it without liability…

…and they STILL bought one for their own kids. Bet they’d never let them have a BB gun, though.

Man, the trampoline thing makes me crazy. On the one hand, I was the kid running around Gramps’s farm playing “tag” with bb guns.

And the particular family that has one are great friends, and have a big net 14’ high surrounding the trampoline.

But they also let 6 kids at a time in there, and soemtimes even the Dad is on there jumping with them. It scares the beejezus out of me.

I’ve seen footage of a kid just standing onthe tramp when another larger kid bounces just so, and the still child’s leg bone just splinters. It’s real, and horrific, and the mind reels.

But damn, it’s fun, you know? Innocent, exercise and fun to boot. Argh!

I doubt that drawing up a waiver is a reaction to the danger of the trampoline. It’s a reaction to expected litigiousness on your part. Basically they judge the risk of injury for their kids to be less of a concern than risk of lawsuit because of injury to your kids.

My lawyer says he loves the trampolines.

The dichotomy I see is: they’re so damned dangerous…why do half the kids I know have them?

I don’t think a wavier releases you from all liability. In fact, I think a bad waiver could even increase your exposure.

I get a pretty good break on my homeowners insurance (like 7% ?) by not having a trampoline on the property. The renewal form I send in each year requires checking a box confirming that yes, indeed, I still do not have a trampoline.

My friend had one in his backyard for when his daughter visited. A bunch of us adults started playing on it one night (yes, there was alcohol involved, but I have a feeling the results would be the same without). One rather athletic friend was trying to do a double flip or some such nonsense, and wound up hurting his neck. I got into an endurance match with another friend. Well, the next day I couldn’t stand because of back problems from my little contest. I had to move some music gear for a gig, and trampoline friend insists on helping because I got hurt at his house. Athletic friend finally goes to the hospital with his neck pain and finds he fractured a vertebrae…he literally broke his neck and had to wear a neck brace and miss work. He doesn’t even think of suing, but trampoline friend insists he take a monthly payment until he goes back to work (something like $500-700 for about 6 months). Trampoline goes away.
So, the short version is, don’t get a trampoline.

Hrmph, I loved all the trampolines I played on as a kid. One time we were playing popcorn, and I got bounced so high I went off the side and had to make an emergency ground landing. Didn’t hurt anything really, it was nice soft grass. I got lucky and was never seriously hurt by a trampoline, but seriously? Telling people to avoid them altogether? Come on. We had health insurance so my parents didn’t worry unduly, but even if you don’t and/or you tell your kids not to use a trampoline, they probably will (if given the chance) when you’re not looking.

The world is not made of nerf. You would do better to argue against your child engaging in sports or cheerleading than trampolining (it *is a word!). If you’re worried about lawsuits, don’t install one of your own (or do, but put it in a fenced+locked backyard and only let your own kids play on it). But don’t fret if your kid wants to use somebody else’s (unless you don’t have health insurance, in which case you should just keep your kid inside all day every day–just in case!).

*a joke

I discovered there’s a LOT of momentum stored in 30 years, 2 feet, and 125 lbs…all things I’d picked up since I was on a trampoline last. I felt it the next day. and the day after that.

And to be clear, I had no problems with my kids being on a tramp, one at a time, and didn’t get all litigious when the kid needed a tooth capped when an accident happened.

I would take that letter as an open invitation to come fuck with the parents. “Hey, I was wondering what’s up with this waiver? Whoa, seriously? Being on a trampoline is dangerous? Seriously? Omg. Man, I’ll never let me child on a trampoline again. How on Earth can any responsible parent have a trampoline, full well knowing — oh, I mean. Um, I’m sure yours is very safe. Bye.”

Maybe the waiver family was already sued over it, or was threatened with a lawsuit. But I wouldn’t have signed it either.

And parents who let your kids play on a tramp, please please please make sure she’s had her shots first.

We’ve been through several trampolines. No problems, but through supervision we stopped a lot of potential problems. My drunk friends were more of a problem than the kids. It’s still a cause of worry. Even though it’s been unused for a long time it’s still out there. Time to pass it on to some sucker. Our first when the kids were smaller was the safest, I dug out a hole and the tramp was at ground level. No guarantee against injury, but kept the little brats from flying or falling too far.