Gymnastic and acrobatics are a fun and challenging sport for men and women. But the injury rates is one of the highest in sports. While generally safe, gymnastic and acrobatic accidents are common cause of injuries to children across the United States. Additionally, children are entering the sport at a younger age, the routines are getting more complex and those serious in the sport spend copious amounts of time practicing. These factors can lead to injury and accidents. Gymnastic related injuries alone have sent over 25,000 children to the emergency room each year. This is equal to the injury rates in full contact sports such as lacrosse and hockey.
Common gymnastic related injuries include aches and pains of the major joints in the body, such as shoulder, knees, hips and ankles. Sprains are common due to overuse of a body part. Minor injuries come with the territory, especially when learning a new routine or skill. However, some gymnastic and acrobatic injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal. For example, broken bones, ACL tears, head and neck injuries, traumatic brain injury, and spinal fractures can lead to high medical bills, hospitalization, and/or paralysis.
Common Causes of Gymnastic Accident Injuries:
Most gymnastic facilities require parents to sign a liability waiver before children are allowed to use equipment or enroll in classes. These liability waivers are common and while they do warn of potential injuries, these waivers are used to safeguard the facility against potential lawsuits. However, injuries are not always caused by an oversight by the gymnast. Sometimes accidents can happen and cause serious injuries due to negligence on behalf of the gymnastic facility and/or their training staff. Some of the causes of negligent gymnastic injuries are:
- Worn out mats which no longer have sufficient padding
- Unqualified, poorly trained and/or careless instructors
- Poorly maintained equipment with faulty parts
- Lack of appropriate supervision
- Safety measures not taken
- No enforcement of safety rules and regulations for gymnasts, coaches, and other staff
If the training staff or gymnastic facility is negligent, damages that can be recovered include medical bills, medications, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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