Senate policy panel OKs greater protections for children who use ‘trampoline parks’

April 24, 2013

Sen. Ted W. Lieu bill addresses alarming trend in injuries
SACRAMENTO – Children who use ‘trampoline parks’ would be provided greater protections from injuries under a Sen. Ted W. Lieu bill that today received its first OK from a key policy committee.

Lieu, D-Torrance, said Senate Bill 256, approved unanimously on a bipartisan vote by the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee,  would help guard against injuring children by creating protective regulations comparable to those already established for permanent amusement parks.

Lieu, citing research by Think Before You Bounce, a trampoline park safety advocacy group, showed an average of 2.0 to 2.7 injures per 1,000 hours of use. That’s more than four times higher than downhill skiing and more than 200 times higher than permanent amusement rides. Currently, trampoline parks are completely unregulated by Cal-OSHA.

“By ensuring that trampoline parks operate at a level comparable to permanent amusement park rides, California’s children and adults can more safely use trampoline parks,” Lieu said.

As proposed, SB 256 would SB 256 would regulate trampoline parks similarly to permanent amusement rides. This would include:
     • Insurance against liability for at least $1 million per incident.
     • Training their employees on the safe operation and emergency procedures for the trampoline parks.
     • Allowing Cal-OSHA to enforce that the design of all current and future trampoline parks
     • Adhere to specific safety standards for trampoline parks.
     • Allowing Cal-OSHA to periodically inspect the trampoline parks for safety.
     • Reporting to Cal-OSHA within 24 hours any serious injury that requires more than first-aid.

Tom Paper, president of Think Before You Bounce, said SB 256 would prevent injuries and save lives.

“Trampoline parks are promoting a dangerous extreme sport as if it were a harmless children’s birthday party event,” Paper said. “SB 256, through the same code of law that has successfully regulated permanent amusement rides for more than 10 years, will place reasonable requirements upon trampoline parks:  for insurance, injury reporting, operating procedures and equipment design.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in 2009 almost 98,000 trampoline-related injuries occurred in the U.S., resulting in about 3,100 hospitalizations. The AAP also noted that rates of trampoline injury appear higher for children than in adults.

Additionally, there have been cases of significant injuries, including deaths.  One of the most notable cases was in 2012, when Ty Thomasson, 30, of Arizona broke his neck landing.  Unfortunately, despite efforts by paramedics, Thomasson died at the trampoline park.  The corner ruled that his death was due to blunt force trauma to his spine.

SB 256 will next be reviewed by the Senate Appropriations Committee; no hearing date has yet been set but will likely be within the next or so.

For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 256 and a list of witnesses in support of the bill, go to the address below.

Ted W. Lieu represents the more than 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glenn, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map HERE: For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.

CONTACT: Ray Sotero
Communications Director
Sen. Ted W. Lieu, Senate District 28
Capitol Building, Room 4061
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4028 office; (916) 834-1128 cell
www.sen.ca.gov/Lieu