Parents claim trampoline parks’ first aid kits are ‘completely inadequate’ after children’s injuries

Canadian news headlines

Parents have come forward with safety concerns about trampoline parks after another child was injured at an Extreme Air Park location in B.C. over the weekend.

Sarah Villanueva and Cat Korpela claim staff at locations in New Westminster and Langley aren’t properly trained to administer first aid, nor are the facilities equipped with proper first aid kits.

Villanueva’s four-year-old daughter, Maddie, broke her leg at an Extreme Air location in New Westminster on Saturday.

The mother said “baffled” staff didn’t have a complete first aid kit at all, offering an ice-pack for her daughter’s “dangling foot.”

“[Maddie’s leg] looked like an L,” Villanueva said. “It was horrifying.”

WARNING: graphic image

Maddie Villaneuva’s leg was broken and her ankle fractured. Her mother, Sarah, said it was further bent immediately after the fall and claims staff offered an ice pack. (Sarah Villanueva)

Maddie had been playing at the trampoline park with her father when she fell. Her leg was broken and her ankle was fractured.

Extreme Air denied responsibility for the toddler’s injury in an email to CBC News on Wednesday. The company emailed security footage from the day Maddie was hurt, saying the video showed her father “double bouncing” his daughter — which is not allowed at the park for safety reasons.

Maddie, right, jumping with her father before her fall on Saturday. A spokesperson with Extreme Air Park claims Maddie’s father double bounced her, which the park says is not allowed for safety reasons. (Sarah Villanueva)

But Villanueva said the cause of her daughter’s injury isn’t the issue. What she’s concerned about, she said, was the lack of proper care from staff after the fact.

“I get it — kids get hurt,” Villanueva said. “But the fact is, when [Maddie’s father] asked for a first aid room, they said they didn’t have one.

“So he said, ‘Ok, give me a first aid kit — something!’ And they didn’t have a first aid kit either,” she said.

Similar concerns at 2nd location

Cat Korpela shares similar worries.

Her son was injured at Extreme Air Park’s Langley location in June, when his hand was accidentally slammed in a door.

Korpela — who works as an emergency medical responder and occupational, Level 1 first aid instructor — asked for a first aid kit to help her son.

She said staff brought her their kit, but it wasn’t stocked properly.

Extreme Air Park’s location in Langley, B.C. (Google Maps)

“[The kit was] filled with tensor bandages, not even first aid supplies — no bandaids, no gauze, nothing like that,” Korpela said.

“So, there’s me digging through this so-called first aid kit trying to find some gauze to stop the bleeding … it was just completely inadequate.”

Korpela complained to the company in an email shortly after. A spokesperson responded, saying staff are first aid certified and “trained to high standards” in first aid and that kits are “up to standard” as well.

No overarching regulator

Unsatisfied, Korpela contacted WorkSafeBC, the Consumer Protection Agency and the City of Langley — but none of those bodies have jurisdiction over trampoline park safety. 

Neither federal nor provincial governments have specific safety measures for trampoline parks, either.

Korpela said that needs to change.

“If this were a ski hill, there would be a ski patrol. If this were a swimming pool, there would be a lifeguard,” she said. “Accidents happen, but it’s how you respond to them that’s important.”

Company responds

In an email to CBC News, Extreme Air Park said it’s also been pushing for industry regulation. 

A spokesperson said the company has “offered to work with the provincial government to develop safety guidelines for the parks.”

The statement added that trampoline parks are safe, as long as all rules are followed properly. 

With files from Tanya Fletcher

Read more from CBC British Columbia





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