It has been about a year since Dominic Moreno went to an indoor trampoline park to celebrate his 9th birthday, and ended up breaking his tibia and both growth plates. In response, parents are still sharing similar stories of their children's severe injuries on trampolines, some even vowing to never return to the parks.
Missouri mom Cortney Moreno first posted about her son's accident on Facebook on July 2017 in hopes of spreading awareness about the danger of trampoline parks. She said within 30 minutes of being there, her son was double bounced by an older child. Then, as Dominic was trying to stand after an employee told him to, another kid bounced next to him and caused Dominic to fall.
"He could no longer stand up after that," Moreno remembered, pointing out that the staff did not make other kids stop jumping when someone was injured. "Our lives have been turned upside down."
Dominic had to undergo three different surgeries, stayed in the hospital for five days because of the pain and was restricted to a hospital bed in the Morenos' living room for months, where he had to finish the third grade. The kid also had to learn to walk again through regular physical therapy. Even now, his mom said he still has his ups and downs.
Dominic's story has drawn similar horror stories from parents all over the country in the comments. Many have shared the injuries their children have also gotten on trampolines, from detached retinas to concussions and stitches to paralysis.
"My daughter is having surgery on Friday for an ankle injury that resulted from a double bounce at a trampoline park back in January. My children will never go back," one mom wrote.
"My 7-year-old son knocked heads with his friend on our trampoline 10 months ago, detaching both of his retinas," another wrote. "Five surgeries later, we are still trying to restore vision to one eye."
"My son is one of the fortunate ones and only ended up having six vertebrae fused together with rods, plates, screws and donor bone. But we are thankful he can walk. The (doctor) told us he was 1 millimeter away from being paralyzed. To this day, he is unable to work due to the injury," said another commenter.
"We were not one of the lucky ones, my son also has rods and screws in his neck and he is paralyzed from his chest down!" wrote another.
The number of anecdotes aren't surprising when studies show trampoline parks send and increasing number of people to the emergency room. Children under the age of 6 made up almost half of the fractures that occurred.
A mom of a toddler didn't realize young children were especially at risk until after her 3-year-old son ended up covered in casts from his waist to his ankles. The American Academy of Pediatrics says trampolines are unsafe for kids of any age, and children younger than 6 should never use a trampoline, even in supervised training programs.
But not all parents think avoiding trampoline parks is the best move, arguing that there are many activities where kids are at risk of breaking bones and that parenting out of fear isn't healthy. Instead, they argue, introducing children to some of the things that may hurt them might actually be the healthiest thing for them.
Whatever you decide when it comes to trampoline use, do your research first—and, seriously, read those waivers!