Families in Georgia who own a trampoline or are thinking of buying one may be wondering what the safety risks are. One pediatric orthopedic surgeon says that trampolines should not be regarded as a “toy,” claiming that they are responsible for thousands of emergency room visits every year in the U.S.

A study from Indiana University shows that trampolines caused 288,876 fractures between the years 2002 and 2011, costing victims and their families more than $1 billion in medical expenses. The majority of fractures occur at the forearm, elbow and wrist as well as the legs and ankles. Dislocations are also common. Most who suffer from these injuries are children under 16.

Other injuries related to trampolines include sprains, bruises and injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Approximately 10 percent of all ER visits are due to head and neck injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics has discovered that 95 percent of all trampoline accidents occur at home, but indoor trampoline parks also pose a hazard.

Safety netting does not prevent all accidents, according to the orthopedic surgeon, as sometimes children can be injured when adults fall on top of them. The surgeon concludes that trampoline use should be limited to gymnastics, diving and other training and that the environments should be specially designed for it.

Trampoline accidents are almost always preventable accidents, so those who are injured or have a child who was injured on one may want to explore their options for getting compensation. If the accident occurred on someone else’s property, the victim may be able to file a premises liability claim against the property owner. A lawyer might have the case investigated and then proceed to either litigation in civil court or to the negotiation table.