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MLA Drysdale pushing for trampoline park regulations

Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale is calling for regulations around trampoline parks in Alberta. A 19 year old man is suing one in Sherwood Park after breaking his neck doing a flip into a foam pit, and a 46 year old man died following an accident at a park in Richmond, B.C. earlier this month.

Most trampoline parks in Canada subscribe to industry standards from the U.S., but since there are no Canadian rules, they aren’t enforced. Drysdale says that needs to change.

“I think that there should be some minimum standards; when you get a development permit for a trampoline park there should be some regulations that follow.”

The issue is a personal one for Drysdale, whose close friend lost their sister in a trampoline accident many years ago. While it’s harder to regulate backyard trampolines, he believes efforts could be made to improve education surrounding safety.

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“You can’t stop all accidents, but we could do things to make it a lot better, that’s for sure.”

Alberta Health Services data shows trampoline-related injury emergency department visits for youth under 15 years old increased by 31 per cent between 2013 to 2015. On average in 2015, more than four children a day ended up in Alberta emergency departments after using a trampoline.

Drysdale says he’s met with Health Minister Sarah Hoffman and AHS and has been told they may be working on addressing concerns. He admits he’s not an expert, but believes much of what should be done is common sense.

“I think there should be standards for how thick the foam should be or how it’s placed down there and monitored as well… as it gets used things move around. The [parks] should be inspected or at least the owners should be inspecting and making sure the maintenance is done and they’re kept up to the standard.”

Ensuring all staff have first aid training, included addressing neck injuries, is also a priority for the local MLA. He says he’s hoping to raise awareness, and is now waiting to see what the NDP government comes up with.

Note: 2day FM reached out to the trampoline park in Grande Prairie for more information on their safety standards, but has not received a response.

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