Utah County officials discuss trampoline park regulations

Posted at 8:23 PM, Jul 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-23 00:39:03-04

UTAH COUNTY, Utah -- Emergency room doctors in Utah County said they're seeing both kids and adults with severe injuries after visiting trampoline parks, and on Monday afternoon, health experts laid out their ideas to the public.

From possible age restrictions to more supervision, a number of proposed regulations are on the table for Utah County trampoline parks.

Normally, residents stand when addressing the health board, but Provo resident Kim Holman was in no shape to do that as he recapped a severe injury at a trampoline park a week and a half ago.

"When I looked at my knee, I could see it was dislocated,” he said. “My tibia had gone up an inch and a half past my femur."

Holman was jumping from trampoline to trampoline when his knees buckled at Get Air Hang Time in Orem.

He said what truly bothers him is how the staff handled him after the injury.

"The first safety coach had offered to relocate the tibia on my leg,” he said. “The other coach offered to give me a piggyback ride off the trampoline.”

Get Air Hang Time Owner Aaron Cobabe said, “some of that may have been spun."

The trampoline park's owner said his staff followed proper procedures, getting Holman an ice pack and helping him to his car after the park said Holman declined to call 911.

Whoever you believe, trauma doctors at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center said Holman’s case is one of 52 severe injuries they've seen from trampoline parks in the last year and a half.

At a meeting Monday, the Utah County health board revealed a series of regulations now up for public debate.  Jump gyms would be required to have signage warning patrons about the risks. Trampolines must be monitored by one adult at all times, and supervisors would have to be trained in first aid and CPR. Also, parks would have to report injuries to the health department and submit to inspections to make sure they're complying.

Three parks, including Get Air Hang Time in Orem, would be affected.

"They're definitely touching on the right topics, there has to be proper supervision," Holman said.

“Our feeling is the industry is already self-regulating," Cobabe said.

Cobabe said there are fewer than a dozen injuries in a year at his business and his biggest concern is that the health department may not allow kids under 7 to even enter the parks, which could impact business if passed.

There will be public comment September 23, and then the health department will make its final decision.