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Family hopes for best after Alberta teen's neck injured in trampoline tumble

Last Updated Jan 11, 2017 at 8:40 am PST

SHERWOOD PARK, Alta. – An teenager is recovering from surgery after suffering a severe neck injury while attending a friend’s birthday party at an Edmonton-area trampoline park.

Landon Smith was hurt last weekend at Jump Park Trampoline in Sherwood Park, just east of the city.

Jordan Smith, Landon’s brother, says a woman saw his 18-year-old sibling jump into a foam pit and stop moving immediately after his plunge.

The teen was taken to University of Alberta Hospital with an injured neck vertebrae and spinal cord damage.

Jordan Smith says his brother was still talking and moving his arms Tuesday morning while he awaited surgery.

In a Facebook statement issued Monday, Jump Park Trampoline confirmed the incident and said its foam pit meets industry standards.

“Landon is a pretty strong kid, so to have him look at you and say he thought he was going to die is pretty tough,” said Jordan.

The Smith family is now warning others about possible risks associated with trampoline parks.

“I just want people to know. I don’t want another person in Landon’s position,” said his brother. “I don’t need another mom worried if her son is going to walk again.”

Jump Park Trampoline’s statement said the business has been in contact with Landon Smith’s family and is offering any support it can. It said the teen was conscious and communicating after the fall and, “as per our safety protocol, an ambulance was called immediately.”

The business also said its foam pit has more than a metre of foam blocks resting above an extra precautionary trampoline above the facility’s floor.

“The safety of our guests is the top priority and we have caused trained professionals to complete a thorough inspection of all parts of the foam pit and the precautionary trampoline, and have been advised that there are no defects with the equipment,” said the statement.

“We are committed to the safety of our guests and will continue to cause our equipment to be inspected on a daily basis as we have since we opened.”

Alberta Health Services said injuries from jumping on trampolines are not uncommon. Research shows an average of four children in the province end up in the emergency room every day due to trampolines.

“It includes fractures, particularly ankle fractures, foot injuries, head injuries, a variety of pretty serious stuff,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, the department’s senior medical officer of health.

Occupational Health and Safety said Strathcona County, in which Sherwood Park is located, would regulate trampoline parks.

But a report on CTV said that while the county is responsible for checking whether facilities are up to code, officials don’t review individual businesses, such as trampoline facilities. (CTV Edmonton, The Canadian Press)