Boy with Down’s Syndrome Told He Can’t Go On Trampolines

A mother is furious with a trampoline centre after she was told her son could not use the trampolines because he has Down’s Syndrome. 

George Dodsworth, 6, was told he wasn’t allowed to use the trampolines with his two siblings at Flip Out trampoline park in Chatham, Kent. His mother, Gemma, was told that signing a waiver would be insufficient and would not be allowed on.

Gemma said: “It was only when we were going through to take our shoes off, one of the staff members stopped me and George and said, ‘I’m so sorry, I don’t know if you’ve read the signs on the wall, but George can’t go in because he’s got Down’s Syndrome.'”

Flip Out have stated that customers with Down’s Syndrome should have signed authorisation from a GP or paediatrician. They refer to British Gymnastics Association guidelines which say some people with Down’s Syndrome may have instability with the vertebrae in their necks.

George with mother, Gemma

Gemma added that she was shocked as the family had been to the centre before.

She said: “It just really hit me. I’m a very positive person, I’ve only ever had anything but positivity with George but it was the first time I’ve had anything negative that I’ve come across.

“It was just such a shock to hear someone say that because he has Down’s Syndrome he couldn’t do something. I’ve always been the type to push him to do everything as normal and typical like my other children.

“I’ve brought them up the same. It was hard. I was very emotional.”

Gemma was provided with a full refund and the worker who had to inform her during the ordeal was said to be ‘nearly tearful herself.’

The incident has led Gemma to question all other activities George takes part in, such as street dancing and gymnastics.

She said: “I wouldn’t let him jump if I thought he was in any danger. He spends his whole summer on the trampoline in the garden. I can’t get him off it.

“When he was younger, I was told to promote trampolining because it helps his muscle tone and to strengthen. I think as a parent that should be under my discretion and I feel he’s safe to jump.”

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George Day


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