Mom says daughter needed surgery after trampoline park accident
A four-year-old girl was left seriously injured after another accident at a Metro Vancouver trampoline park over the weekend, according to her distraught parents.
Sarah Villanueva and Jesse Charbonneau said their daughter, Maddie, was at the Extreme Air Park in New Westminster on Saturday when the little girl broke her ankle in two places.
"She caught a bad bounce and she wasn't getting up right away," said Charbonneau, who was supervising Maddie and two other children at the trampoline park. "Then she started screaming really loudly and I knew something was wrong."
The child was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, where she underwent surgery on Sunday morning. Her family told CTV News she will have to spend the next several weeks in a wheelchair, including when she enters kindergarten next month.
"I'm going to be wheeling her in in a wheelchair," Villanueva said. "She's going through so much pain but she's such a trooper."
She said the little girl has to take ketamine and morphine because of how bad the break is.
CTV News contacted Extreme Air Park, which said injuries at trampoline parks are very rare. Only three out of every 1,000 guests are hurt, according to the company, and most of their injuries are minor.
"The vast majority of those limited injuries are nothing greater than a scrape or bruise," a spokesperson told CTV News in an email. "Injuries occur when jumpers do not follow our rules and jump in an unsafe manner. All trampoline parks are safe when used correctly."
In this case, the company says video captured at the facility that day shows the girl's father caused her broken leg by double bouncing her.
"Our main rule is no double bouncing. Clearly the dad in white at the centre of the video broke his own daughter's leg by not following the rules or using caution around his child," Extreme Air Parks said.
The company said staff members are also trained in first aid, that every location is equipped with a comprehensive first aid kit. Guests must sign a waiver indicating they understand the risks involved.
But there are currently no specific regulations for trampoline parks, either provincially or federally, and Maddie's parents believe there should be more oversight.
Villanueva said she's doesn't blame the company for the accident, but she was still disappointed by its response to what happened.
"(Kids) do crazy things, they get in trouble and they get hurt and it's all part of life," she said. "This park, they're not doing anything – they haven't apologized, they haven't tried to be helpful."
Earlier this year, there was another call for government regulations from within the company itself. Michael Marti, owner of Extreme Air Park in Richmond, wrote a letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan asking the povince to provide oversight after a 46-year-old man died in a trampoline park accident.
"I would welcome the opportunity work with your government to develop comprehensive regulations that give the public confidence that, in addition to the hard work trampoline parks put into ensuring the safety of their guests, there is Provincial oversight into trampoline park safety as well," Marti wrote in February.
Technical Safety BC, which oversees amusement park rides in the province, told CTV News on Monday that it is reviewing ways it could potentially expand its scope to include trampoline parks.
Another family recently spoke out after their three-year-old son fell through the springs at the Extreme Air Park in Richmond. The company said surveillance video shows him "playing with the Velcro" that covers the springs.
The family of Jason Greenwood, the man who died at the same location back in January, is also suing the company.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson