Children of all ages love inflatable bounce houses. With brightly colored exteriors, some of the newest inflatable bounce houses come tricked out with slides, obstacle courses, basketball hoops and even water slides. Although they are often touted as safe and fun for all ages, recent news stories have brought to light the risks inherent in using bounce houses, and new data suggests that bounce house injuries are on the rise.
Bounce House Injuries In the News: New York and Colorado
In upstate New York, three children (ages 5, 6 and 10) were recently jumping in an inflatable bounce house which was staked to the ground when a wind gust blew the bounce house into the air. As witnesses stood by helplessly watching the scene unfold, the terrified children fell out of the bounce house as it flew 15 to 20 feet in the air.
According to onlookers, one of the children fell onto a parked car while another child fell onto the street. While the oldest child involved in this accident came away with only a few scrapes and a minor injury to her shoulder, the younger boys weren’t so fortunate. Authorities reported that the younger boys were treated at a local medical center for more serious injuries, including a serious head injury and broken bones.
In a second bounce house injury incident, this time near Denver, Colorado, two young children were injured when an inflatable bounce house was lifted into the air by a sudden wind gust. According to witnesses, one child was immediately thrown from the bounce house when a 30 mph wind gust lifted the bounce house into the air. The other child stayed inside as the bounce house as it rolled 200 feet. Miraculously, authorities didn’t report any serious injuries in this case, although the ordeal must have been terrifying for both parents and the children involved.
ER Doctors Say Bounce House Injuries On the Rise
Emergency room doctors report that injuries from inflatable bounce houses are on the rise. Parents should be alert to potential dangers when their children use bounce houses. In order to reduce the potential for injury, safety experts suggest that children should always be supervised when playing in bounce houses. If possible, children should also use bounce houses one at a time, and children should not use inflatable bounce houses in windy conditions.
According to recent reports, there are approximately 11,000 injuries as a result of bounce houses every year. Tracy Mehan, a health educator with the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, is sounding the alarm about the rise in bounce house injuries. According to a 2012 study in Pediatrics, there was a 15-fold increase in bounce house injuries from 1995 to 2010. Mehan points out that, “[i]f this were a disease, it would be considered an epidemic.”
Safety experts surmise that bounce house injuries may be on the rise because they are being used more frequently (e.g. rented for parties or purchased for home use) and are now widely sold in stores for use in backyards.
To help prevent injuries, the Child Injury Prevention Alliance suggests that bounce houses only be used for children over the age of 6, and that only one jumper be allowed in the bounce house at a time. Unfortunately, parents and bounce house owners don’t always hold to these guidelines, and serious, costly injuries can be the result.
The personal injury attorneys at Hardy, Wolf and Downing have over 35 years experience with personal injury law. We can help your family understand your rights if you or a loved one has been involved in a bounce house accident. Our Lewiston, Portland and downtown Portland law offices are here to answer your questions, and will put our expertise and experience in the field of personal injury law to work for your family.
If you have been injured in an inflatable bounce house accident, please call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hardy, Wolf and Downing to schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Our personal injury attorneys provide our blog as a service to our clients. They are meant to be purely informational. If you or a loved one has been in a bounce house accident and would like a free consultation with a personal injury attorney, please call our firm today at 1-800-INJURED to start understanding your legal rights.