We’ve seen them at parties and we’ve likely played inside of one ourselves at some point in time: bounce houses. Typically rolled out at children’s birthday parties and similar events, these items might look like a lot of fun, but a new study details how dangerous they can be to those who use them, a danger that becomes even more apparent when they aren’t used according to the necessary specifications.
A report published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics takes a look at the danger posed by bounce houses and similar inflatable items, and video recently put together at Good Morning America helps to demonstrate what can happen when a bounce house isn’t tied down properly. Heavy winds can pick the items up off the ground and send them rolling away into the path of bystanders, sometimes when people are still using the bouncers.
As if the video wasn’t shocking enough, perhaps the research data is even more illuminating. Researchers deduced that around 64,657 kids 17 and younger submitted to emergency room treatment after incurring an injury stemming from an inflatable bouncer, and those numbers have increased in recent years. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that an average of 31 kids are believed to have sought treatment every single day in 2010. 7% of the injuries are concussions, but fractures, sprains, and more can each result when kids fall or run into each other.
The report comes to the conclusion that new guidelines may be necessary to prevent future injuries. Until that happens, do what you can as a consumer to limit the danger. Tie the bouncers down, and consider other means of entertainment if high winds might affect your area or if you think kids will be placed in danger.