Bounce houses – large inflatable jumping toys – are a popular activity at birthday parties, family reunions, church picnics, county fairs, and indoor playgrounds. But a recent study highlights the fact that these popular contraptions come with a high risk of injuries, as well.
According to this CNN article, a study initiated by Dr. Gary Smith from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio revealed that the number of injuries linked to inflatable bounce houses increased by 1,500% between 1995 and 2010. And in the past two years alone, the number of bounce house injuries more than doubled.
In 2010 alone, an average of 31 children were treated in emergency departments each day as a result of a bounce house injury, which amounts to about one child every 45 minutes, according to Dr. Smith. Over a 20-year period, 65,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency departments, with more than half (55%) of those injuries occurring between 2005 and 2010. The majority of the injured children were between the ages of 6 and 12, and more than one-third were under the age of 5.
In connection with the study, Dr. Smith and his team analyzed records of emergency room visits associated with consumer products available from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The most common injuries included arm and leg injuries, but almost one in five children (18.5%) suffered head and neck injuries with 3% of the injuries requiring hospitalization. Children under the age of 5 are likely to suffer bone fractures and teenagers are more likely to sustain sprains and strains.
Although there was not adequate information to explain the reason the number of injuries are going up, Dr. Smith suspects that increased popularity of inflatable bounce houses may be to blame. Dr. Smith points out that the trends associated with bounce house injuries are similar injuries sustained from trampoline use, but unlike trampolines, there are no national safety guidelines for inflatable bounce houses.
Dr. Smith recommends that parents be aware of the risks associated with inflatable bounce devices and take the appropriate precautions. The CPSC recommends that bounce houses be anchored to the ground and that children of different age groups not use the apparatus at the same time.
The Chicago personal injury law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC is committed to protecting the victims of dangerous and defective products and to promoting consumer safety. If your child has been injured while playing in an inflatable bounce house or other children’s toy, contact one of our Chicago personal injury attorneys at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about a possible product liability or personal injury claim.