Making trampoline parks safer: new legislation in works

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by 3TV Political Editor Dennis Welch

Bio | Email | Follow: @Dennis_Welch

azfamily.com

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 4:02 PM

PHOENIX -- They can deliver hours of high-flying fun. But trampolines can also carry the risk of injuries, broken bones or even death.

Now, one Valley mother who lost her son in a trampoline park accident says it's time for some changes. Right now, there are no laws in Arizona to protect children bouncing at trampoline parks.

But 3TV's political editor Dennis Welch found out that there is a bill in the state legislature that could change that.

The legislation is very personal for grieving mother Maureen Cerley, whose son, Ty, died in a trampoline accident two years ago. "I don't think about it," she says. "I have to think he's on a trip."

Cerley is now taking her story to the state capitol, pushing lawmakers to make the trampoline industry safer. "For someone to have this happen because someone took shortcuts, and they weren't required to check their safety should be criminal," she says.

The trampoline industry has been largely unregulated in Arizona. "I think the public can expect, when they go to a facility like this, that it's safe, and it's built to some sort of standards, and that it's been inspected to ensure public safety," says Rep. Doug Coleman.

Coleman is pushing for minimum safety standards, such as regulating the foam pits that customers jump into. Cerley's son died after he broke his neck jumping into a shallow pit that didn't meet industry recommendations.

"The industry standards say it will be at least six feet deep," Coleman says. "This pit was two feet deep."

The trampoline safety bill did pass the House committee Tuesday, with the support of the trampoline industry. But it still has a long way to go before it becomes law.

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