2 Children Injured as Another Bounce House Blows Away
A 10-year-old girl was thrown eight feet into the air and an 11-year-old boy was injured when an inflatable bounce house was taken by the wind.
Bounce House Travels Nearly 300 Feet with Boy Trapped Inside
The bounce house blew away in the wind during a lacrosse game taking place in Littleton, Colorado on Saturday, May 31st. A witness commented that the Airbound bounce house was “like a bag in the wind” as it blew across the field.
The young girl was examined and released on site – she was going down the slide of the bounce house and was not trapped inside.
The boy, however, travelled 200-300 feet trapped in the bounce house; he was taken to the hospital but is believed to have suffered no serious injury.
The bounce house operators stated that they followed the necessary precautions and had the attraction staked securely to ground, but they simply were not “able to foresee the microburst wind and shut the ride down prior to this incident occurring,” according to Don Kennedy, owner of Airbound, Inc.
This accident is not the first to occur with bounce houses, as similar incidents have taken place over the past year.
Other Bounce House Incidents
Just a couple of weeks prior to this incident in Colorado, there was a similar bounce house accident in upstate New York.
The bounce house was again picked up by the wind, trapping two young boys inside. They boys fell 15 feet out of the bounce house before it peaked at 50 feet in the air.
Additionally, in 2011, thirteen people were injured when a bounce house blew into a crowd at a soccer game in Long Island.
The growing number of bounce house incidents over the past few years has led Jim Barber, the spokesman for the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, to declare bounce houses “the most dangerous amusement devices they have” in 2011.
Bounce House Injury Statistics
The hazard of bounce houses blowing away is certainly the most terrifying, but the risk for injury is still high even when the bounce house is secure. The most common injuries occur to the limbs and neck, especially in younger children.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), which is operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, records patient information for all emergency visits involving consumer product caused injuries. These records proffered the data for a study done on bounce house injuries, revealing that “the number of inflatable bouncer-related injuries rose 1,500% between 1995 and 2010”.
Additionally, an average of 31 children were treated in emergency departments each day in 2010, which is about one child every 45 minutes, according to the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Since this data only includes emergency room visits, other injuries may have occurred but been treated elsewhere. There are not national safety guidelines for bounce houses, like with trampolines, so parents are encouraged to not allow children under 6 to play in bounce houses and to minimize the number of simultaneous participants.