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The Dangers of Bounce Houses

The Dangers of Bounce Houses

Bounce houses are veritable kid magnets. Large, colorful, and springy, they attract children in a variety of settings. Bounce houses can be found at fairs, picnics, theme parks, special events, day care centers, parties, and even inside shopping malls. Many parents don’t think twice about allowing their children inside these popular inflatables. One physician saw so many bounce house injuries in his practice, he decided to study how frequently they occur.

Shocking Statistics About Bounce House Injuries

According to the first nationwide study on bounce house injuries, bouncer-related injuries have skyrocketed. Dr. Gary Smith, a pediatric emergency physician, treated so many bounce house injuries in the ER that he decided to research how often they occur.

Dr. Smith and his team looked at records from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is part of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The researchers discovered something astonishing: bounce house injuries jumped a staggering 1,500 percent between 1995 and 2010.

Between 2008 and 2010, the rate of injuries more than doubled, with nearly 2 percent of children suffering head and neck injuries. Other injuries included broken bones, sprains, strains, dislocations, bruises, and concussions.

Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigates bounce house accidents, there are currently no national safety guidelines for bounce houses. This is a stark contrast to trampolines, which have their own national safety guidelines. Despite the lack of guidelines, the CPSC does recommend that bounce house operators anchor their structures and only allow children to jump with children from their own age group.

Additionally, Dr. Smith recommends that parents enforce the following rules with their children any time they play on an inflatable structure:

  • Don’t allow children under 6 years old to play in bounce houses
  • Prohibit children from performing flips and somersaults
  • Limit children to playing with children of a similar size and age
  • Use adult supervision at all times