Utah County Board of Health investigates safety of trampoline gyms

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At a May 18 meeting the Utah County Board of Health reported 24 serious injuries in trampoline gyms in the last year. These injuries ranged from fractured fibulae to head trauma.

“We want to be proactive if there is ever a spike in total number of serious injuries,” Clyde Nielsen, board chairman said.

While the board didn’t enact any new rules on Monday the board did discuss how they can track follow-up efforts made by the gyms after a serious injury.

The Utah County Board of Health requires all the gyms to track any injuries that occur. The board also has Intermountain Utah Valley Regional Medical Center report serious injuries to the committee. Ultimately, the board hopes to make improve safety at trampoline gyms.

“We do not wish to put them out of business. We just want to make them a safer business,” Lindon Mayor Jeff Acerson said.

While the gyms have patrons sign safety disclaimers and waivers the health board wants to know how they can carry out stricter rules of safety on the gyms.

“The goal would be to educate patrons beyond the waiver,” Nielsen said.

“I do not think we would have a problem at all complying to any new regulations the board would implement,” said Braxton Jex, assistant manager at Lowes Xtreme Air Sports in Provo.”We report everything immediately to the health board. Anything from bloody noses and rolled ankles to the more serious injuries are reported in compliance with the board of health.”

Jex said that injuries happen despite their trampoline gyms’ best efforts.

“To enforce safety rules we do have a system set in place. We have one employee for every thirty guests out on the floor monitoring. They act as lifeguards at a public pool,” Jex said.

“We have been in the business a long time and spent a long time designing our foam pits and everything in between to be safe for everyone,” Jex said.

Besides patrolling the trampoline areas employees at Lowes Xtreme Air Sports go through basic CPR and First Aid training.

The average age for those injured at trampolines gyms is age 19. The only gym with no serious injuries reported by Utah Valley Regional Medical Center was Jump On It in Lindon. However, this is most likely due its location and proximity to other hospitals. The board will follow-up in six months with hopes of a decreased number of injuries as well as a better system of reporting injuries and follow-up.

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