A SPECIAL family day out at a trampoline park ended in floods of tears after a girl with Down’s syndrome was banned from playing.
Poppy-Mae Sawbridge, eight, was rejected from Flip Out in Leicester, as she didn’t have a doctor’s note.
Mum Rebecca, of New Parks in Leicester, took Poppy-Mae along with her siblings, Lilly-Star and Summer-Rae for a fun day at the trampoline park as they’d all enjoyed previous outings at the centre.
But, Flip Out said Poppy-Mae couldn’t join in without a GP’s letter giving her the OK, as it explained that new rules have been introduced for safety reasons.
Unfortunately for the Sawbridges, they hadn’t known about the changes before going to the facility.
The girl’s father Lewis Sawbridge told Leicestershire Live: “My daughter left there crying her eyes out.”
According to Flip Out’s website, customers with Down’s syndrome must have “approval for participation signed by a GP or paediatrician.”
Explaining that its guidelines echo those set out by the British Gymnastics Association, Flip Out’s advice section says “it’s possible that certain customers with Down’s syndrome may also have instability within the vertebrae in the neck.
“Customers with Down’s syndrome and neck instability will be asked to obtain evidence from a GP or paediatrician that they have been screened using the screening test developed by the British Gymnastics Association for instability.”
We want to make sure it’s safe for everyone – I wouldn’t sleep if something had gone wrong.
Franchisee Aftab Patel
The website has a list of “conditions that could result in injury to yourself or cause damage to your health” including “disproportionate Dwarfism, recent surgery, high blood pressure, pregnancy or excessive weight.”
Mr Sawbridge said: “We’ve never heard anything like this before.
“It wasn’t advertised in the building; they just handed my wife a laminated piece of paper that apparently explained the rules.”
Leicester franchisee Aftab Patel said: “We want to make sure it’s safe for everyone – I wouldn’t sleep if something had gone wrong.
“I understand that they were upset; I would be too.
“I know she has been before and thankfully nothing has gone wrong but we want to keep it that way.”
A spokesperson for the Flip Out company added: “First of all I would like to apologise on behalf of Flip Out for the misunderstanding involving the family concerned and any embarrassment caused.
“We pride ourselves on being a fully inclusive company and try very hard to cater for everyone.
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“As a business we take health and safety very seriously and our company policy follows the advice given from the Down-syndrome.org website and the British Gymnastics Association which strongly recommends screening before any trampolining activities for people with Down’s syndrome.
“These conditions are made very clear on our website and at reception where there is a ‘before You bounce’ sign.
“Upon production of a GP’s letter we would be happy to welcome back the family as our guests.”