Bounce House Injuries
Written by Faith Anderson on November 30, 2012
Bounce House Injuries Requiring Hospitalization
During the time period studied by researchers, nearly 65,000 children suffered injuries while using a bounce house and required treatment in an emergency room – a number equivalent to the rate of five children per 100,000 sustaining bounce-house related injuries annually. Unfortunately, the risk of injuries occurring during the use of inflatable bounce houses has increased in recent years. In fact, the study authors found that the annual injury rate more than doubled between 2008 and 2010, with one child being injured in a bounce house incident every 46 minutes in the United States in 2010. In an effort to reduce the risk of injuries linked to inflatable bounce houses, researchers are urging parents who continue to use the products to consider the following safety tips:
- Limit the use of bouncers to children ages six and older
- Ensure children using the bounce house are being supervised by adults
- Encourage children of the same approximate size and age to play together to avoid injuries to smaller children
- Warn children not to try dangerous stunts in a bounce house, such as flips
- Limit the number of children using the bouncer at the same time
- Surround the bouncer with padding to prevent falls and injuries on hard surfaces
Use of Inflatable Bounce Houses Growing Nationwide
Although inflatable bounce houses were once a novelty item found only at public gatherings and fairs, the products are being used more widely today, including for indoor inflatable bouncer playgrounds, community events and private birthday parties. The children’s product is made from vinyl and is powered by a large industrial strength blower designed to push air underneath the surface as children bounce inside the enclosed structure. Although no deaths have been reported in connection with inflatable bounce houses, roughly 3% of children involved in the study who were injured in bounce house-related accidents required hospitalization or hospital observation for a minimum of 24 hours.
Injuries Commonly Resulting from Bounce House Use
The most common injuries sustained in incidents involving bounce houses were strains, fractures and sprains to the lower portion of the body, and the majority of injuries affected young males averaging seven years of age. Despite the fact that the majority of the public expects inflatable bounce houses at public facilities to be safe, nearly 44% of reported injuries occurred at recreation facilities such as indoor bounce house play yards. In response to these alarming statistics, the researchers wrote, “This increase, along with similarities to trampoline-related injuries, underscores the need for guidelines for safer bouncer usage and improvements in bouncer design to prevent these injuries among children.” If your child has been injured while using a bounce house, contact an experienced product liability attorney for legal help.