New thrill sending teens to the hospital

Trampolines. Kids love them, surgeons definitely do not.
Recently, local emergency rooms are seeing an uptick in the number of trampoline related injuries. Not just in younger kids, but teenagers as well. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, an estimated 98,000 kids will injure themselves on trampolines each year.

Dr. Prerana Patel, a pediatric surgeon at Albany Medical Center says while trampoline accidents are common, she‚„s seeing a lot more sprains, breaks and neck injuries since indoor trampoline parks came into the picture.

‚“It‚„s like anything else, like a swimming pool or a bicycle. You can get hurt on these things if you don‚„t know how to use them safely.‚ Dr. Patel says. ‚“All of sudden I was getting older teenagers and usually you don‚„t get older kids on the backyard trampolines because they kind of outgrow it‚ but they love these parks.‚

When it comes to trampoline parks, another report by the AAP doesn‚„t offer much concrete data on their safety (because they‚„re a relatively new thing) but does warn that jumpers may be at an increased risk for suffering an injury, potentially catastrophic.

CBS6 visited the Capital Region‚„s first and currently only trampoline park in Albany called Flight. The park allows kids and adults to literally bounce off the walls. It runs under a specific set of rules and jumpers must sign a waiver before jumping. Manager Mark Bigelow showed us around, explaining to us how they‚„re making this extreme sport safer for users.

‚“Even if you're playing by the rules there is still risk here.‚ Bigelow reminds us. ‚“We've definitely seen injuries, the most common is a sprained ankle.‚

Throughout the park there are shock-absorbing pads, safety nets, and even an area specifically designed for young children with a foam pit. All safety features and the overall design of Flight follows a set of regulations put forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Flight, as well as most parks follow these regulations, however it is not required by law.

In the coming weeks, Flight will be getting some competition in the Capital Region when Sky Zone Albany opens up in Menands. With a tentative opening date of November 25th, Sky Zone boasts 15,000 square feet of trampoline surface at its facility.

In the meantime, if you‚„re investing in a home trampoline or planning to visit an indoor trampoline park, experts have these rules to make for a safer jumping experience:

- Use safety nets and pads.
- Place trampoline on ground level.
- Don‚„t double bounce (think the game ‚œpopcorn‚„).
- No unsupervised jumping

At Flight in Albany, monitors make sure kids are following the rules. If they‚„re not, it‚„s a 3-strike policy before being asked to leave.

‚“We do our best to try and see when that's happening.‚ Bigelow says. ‚“Much like a lifeguard would blow their whistle at a pool when someone is running, that is what our court monitors are taught to do.‚