Articles Posted in Attractions & Theme Parks

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Summer is filed with fun and play for children. For some, the bounce house is a great place for children to exercise, move around, and socialize with friends.  The bounce house can also the scene of a serious injury especially for small children and toddlers.  Just because a bounce house is padded and filled with air does not mean that a bounce house is a safe place.

Bounce house play can be a fun time for your children this summer, but repeatedly jumping up and coming down in various ways come with inherent risks. While it is difficult to completely ensure your child’s safety within a bounce house without being over-protective, measures can be taken to minimize safety risks. When buying or renting a bounce house to use for a children’s event check to make sure that the selected bounce house is equipped with safety nets and is set up as instructed by the manufacturer. This includes remembering to securely fashion the bounce house to the ground in order to account for sudden gusts of wind that may topple over the house. While most injuries suffered within bounce houses are not severe, if wind knocks the house airborne with children inside of it, the chance of serious injury skyrockets. Though it may be hard to regulate, keeping the number of children within the bounce house below its maximum capacity further minimizes risk of injury to your child.

Dr. David Foley, medical director of an urgent care centers, states that summer is the season that sees the most “slip, trip, or fall’ injuries. He goes on to state that risk of injury is inevitable in bounce houses due to promoting jumping and falling in different ways. The risk is even greater in these cases as the bounce houses allow for falls from even greater heights, generating more momentum and force as they fall back to ground which can lead to more serious injury. When setting up a bounce house outdoors, check weather reports for rain as a slippery bounce house can be a recipe for disaster, adding more risk to an already dangerous activity. According to doctor Foley the most common injuries that occur within bounce houses are to the limbs. These types of injuries include but are not limited to, twisted ankles, fractured elbows, and in the most serious of cases, head trauma. For events in which parents plan to use a bounce house, assigning supervisors to keep watch over what’s happening within the bounce house can prevent injuries that are results of negligence. See Bounce House Play – Keeping Children Safe.

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book-abcIn communities throughout the United States, trampoline park businesses are springing up.  What seems like a safe, indoor activity can actually be quite a hazard to young children.  What makes things worse is that many of these businesses require a release to be signed by parents and guardians for children.  Some of the releases are valid; some are not. It depends on the language of the release, circumstances of the incident, and the laws of the state where the trampoline park is located.

In 2017, almost 18,000 people went to the emergency room due to injuries obtained at a trampoline park. The bulk of these injuries are explained by one thing—an unsafe transfer of energy. All the trampolines are connected, so the energy created from bouncing transfers through all the trampolines. When a child bounces, they can be launched higher than anticipated and land back on a surface which could be at a different height than anticipated. This transfer of energy can result in nearly 1,000 pounds of pressure, which can break any bone in a person’s body. There have been at least 6 deaths at trampoline parks since 2012.

Trampoline parks in the United States currently have no federal oversight, so every park is unique. While the majority of the businesses have patrons sign a release waiver, they can be different from park to park. These waivers typically address risks that are inherent to trampoline activities, like a sprained ankle. However, some parks do not even require a waiver. However, just signing a waiver does not always effectively preclude a parent from filing a lawsuit on behalf of the injured child for the personal injuries.  In the State of Florida, there exceptions for waivers signed by minors. For minors, those documents may be limited to non-commercial situations, such as charity or school events. Because trampoline parks are for-profit businesses, the waivers provided by them may not be enforceable.  If you or your child are injured at a trampoline park, contact an injury attorney for consultation or representation.

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Bounce houses are commonly seen in neighborhoods, amusement parks, fairs, parties, and other events. On most occasions, a bounce house is a great way for a child to play, get some exercise, and interact with friends. Unfortunately, bounce houses and similar recreational structures can be the site of a very serious injury and even the death of a child if safety precautions are not followed, including but not limited to, the anchoring of the bounce house. Furthermore, adult supervision is always key to protecting children from injuries. Kids will be kids. They lack good safety judgment and when there is no adult around – accidents and injuries can and do happen.

A recent accident in Nebraska exemplifies the instantaneous moment where fun on a bounce pad can turn injurious and deadly. A two-year-old boy died and his five-year old sister sustained a broken arm when a strong breeze uprooted the anchoring stakes of the moon bounce they were playing in at a Halloween pumpkin patch. The little girl was thrown from the bounce pad as it blew over, which saved her from serious injury. Unfortunately, the little boy tumbled with the bounce house as it blew over, which caused fatal head injuries. This tragedy in Nebraska demonstrates only one of the multitudes of ways in which a bounce house can cause injuries.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, other common injuries from trampolines and moon bounces are head trauma, neck injuries, and broken legs. Suffocation by the plastic of a bounce house poses additional risks, such as lung or brain damage from a lack of oxygen. Furthermore, the children’s hospital also indicates that over 10,000 children a year sustain injuries in moon bounces and that over a third of those injuries occur in children younger than five years old. See Bounce House Related Personal Injuries to Children.

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Toys-on-Shelf-297x300When a child is enrolled in a school, day care center, summer camp or other program, it is important that the child be supervised in a safe environment.  While a typical toy does not at first glance appear to be a dangerous object, the wrong toy in the hands or within the reach of a child can lead to serious personal injuries and even the death of the child.

It is important for all child care providers be aware of the risks and dangers of toys.  Furthermore, the child care provider should be on alert and pay attention any time that a child is playing with a toy. Many personal injuries can be avoided with consistent supervision and common sense on the part of child care providers.

Toys Needs to be Age Appropriate.  Small children including those under the age of 5 years old tend to put small pieces or toys into their mouths.  This can present a significant choking hazard to a child.  If a toy has small pieces or is susceptible to being pulled apart into small pieces, there can be a choking hazard to a small child.

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Inflatable-Castle-300x279In States across the nation, bounce houses are commonly seen in neighborhood, strip malls, carnivals, birthday parties, theme parks, amusement parks, festivals, schools, playgrounds, and community events.  Unfortunately, many States do not regulate bounce house companies and the States that do have limited and sporadic enforcement of the permitting laws and regulations.  Furthermore, even if a company is permitted to place or rent a bounce house, there is not much in the way of supervision or enforcement in the way that the bounce house companies monitor the use of the bounce house.  In most cases, the bounce house is dropped off at a party and the parents or party organizers are left with the task and responsibility for monitoring children using the bounce house.
Unfortunately, the important task of supervision is poorly planned and poor executed.  Furthermore, parents and party organizers rarely have the training, experience, or know-how as to the proper use and occupancy of bounce houses.  Some safety experts recommend that children under the age of 6 years old should not play in bounce houses.  Some set the age limit at under the age of 3 years old.  Any child, who is unsteady on his or her feet, should avoid play in a bounce house because these children are at high risk for falling and getting injured.
Many bounce house injuries result from rough play in the bounce house that is not properly supervised or stopped when first initiated.  When there is a mixture of older and bigger children (teens) and younger – small children (pre-schools and early elementary school aged children), injuries can easily happen when the smaller child is bounced too hard and is knocked over or fallen on by the older child. Overcrowding can also lead to personal injuries of children playing in a bounce houses.
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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer
https://www.childinjurylawyerblog.com/files/2017/07/Trampoline-Jumping.001-219x300.jpegIn Louisiana and other States, trampoline parks are operating in many communities.  Originally thought as a save way to place in a controlled air conditioned environment. There are more and more stories and reports of injuries taking place at trampoline parks.  When a child is injured a a trampoline park, a child may be entitled to compensation if it can be established that the trampoline park / business was negligent in some manner which, in turn, caused the injuries.  Like other personal injury cases, there are four essential elements to prove:
Duty;
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 By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer
Boy-Jumping-227x300There are a number of businesses in communities that not only anticipate that children will visit but encourage children to visit.  However, these same businesses fail to put safety precautions, rules, protocols, and staffing in place for the protection of the children who visit the trampoline park.  As a result, children are often injured and required medical care.  If a child is injured as a result of the staff of a trampoline park, a legal case or claim can be pursued on behalf of the injured child.
It has been reported that children under the age of 6 years old are at the highest risk of injury than other children and adults.  Furthermore, because of coordination issues, many child safety advocates recommend that toddlers stay off on trampolines and especially those with other larger and older children at play.  It is well known that children have poor safety awareness.  Without proper safety precautions and adult supervision, children are often injured at trampoline parks and bounce house locations.
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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

https://www.childinjurylawyerblog.com/files/2016/08/Amusement-Park.001-300x279.jpegIt is common to see fairs, amusement parks, and festivals in just about every community on a regular basis. When a person visits an area with amusement rides, it is the rightful expectation of the the visitor that the rides are safe, that the rides are inspected, and that the rides are well maintained.  Unfortunately, for some visitors, including children, a fair, theme park, amusement park, or festival is the site of an accident or incident that causes serious personal injuries.  When a ride breaks down or malfunctions, a person can be put at great danger for personal injuries.  This applies to both adults and children.  For each State, there is a division of government that regulates and inspects fairground rides and amusement park rides.  Typically, the duties and responsibilities for inspection fall under the Department of Agriculture but it does depend on the specific State laws and regulations.  Regardless of the particular entity charged with this responsibility, it is vital that business owners, property owners and promoters comply with the applicable laws, rules and regulations. Furthermore, additional steps should be taken to make sure that the rides are safe and well maintained.  When the ride is in operation, it is important that all safety measures are taken with respect to the overall control of the ride and the individual seats and ride units.  All latches should be secured and seatbelt should be worn as provided.

When an adult or a child is injured as a result of the negligence of a fair, amusement park, theme park, festival, and / or the seller, distributor, or manufacturer of the ride, a case or claim can and should be brought on behalf of the injury victim.  David Wolf is a personal injury attorneys with over 26 years of experience.  He has handled personal injury cases on behalf of children in many communities.  He is the author of 11 books including the book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know.  This book has a section on Theme Park and Amusement Park Personal Injuries.  You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury
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By David A. Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog

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There are times of the year in which children and others are out at a bit of a higher risk that other times of the year.  In the United States, New Year’s Eve, July 4th, and other holidays / celebrations throughout the year,  tend to bring out firework purchases and enthusiasts.  Any time that a fireworks are ignited, even by professional, there is a risk for injury.  When the fireworks are ignited by people without training including those under the influence of alcohol, people including children can suffer personal injuries in the form of eye injuries, burn injuries, and other injuries.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Amusement Park Personal Injuries.001In Tennessee and other States, there have been reported incidents or accidents at theme parks or amusement parks involving children.  Amusement parks and theme parks welcome children and specifically advertise to families and children.  As such, the owners and operators of amusement parks and theme parks should make sure that the rides are safe, that the rides are well maintained, and that the rides are properly supervised by trained and diligent ride attendants.   When an adult or child is injured at a theme park or amusement park, there are essentially four legal elements to prove to establish as claim or case:

1. Duty;