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Doctor Calls the Rise in Bounce House Injuries an “Epidemic”

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Karis Rozof4 years ago

If you have children, chances are you have come across the big inflatable bounce houses which have become so popular for birthday parties, picnics, and church events. Kids love this type of indoor/outdoor play equipment, but should parents be concerned?

How Dangerous are Jump Houses?

Exactly how many children are injured in the United States in these bounce houses or moonwalks? That was the question raised by pediatric E.R. physician Dr. Gary Smith from The Nationwide Children’s Hospital after treating many children who were hurt while playing on the popular equipment. So he decided to launch the first study.

Dr. Smith’s Survey Results

Smith gathered a team of researchers to analyze National Electronic Injury Surveillance System records which collects information on every ER patient involving an injury associated with consumer products. NEISS is operated by the consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  • An average of 31 kids are treated each day in emergency rooms due to injuries sustained in bounce houses.
  • That’s about one child every 45 minutes.
  • One out of four of these injuries include broken bones.
  • One in five children had neck injuries.
  • Half of the injured children were six to twelve years old.
  • A third were under 5 years old.
  • The number of injuries has risen fifteen fold since 1995.
  • Even more astonishing, is that the number of injuries DOUBLED in two years between 2008 and 2010.

“If you think of the curve, it's almost like it's just taking off… and when we see that kind of shape of a curve in the area of public health, we consider that to be an epidemic.”  said Smith

After reviewing over 10 years of data, the increase in child injuries does not seem to be due to the quality of the equipment but an increase in availability, said Smith.

Safety Tips

Currently it is up to parents to use caution because there are not national safety guidelines for inflatable bouncers like there are for trampolines.

Before jumping
  • All bounce houses should be anchored.
  • Ideally, only one child at a time should be jumping. But since that can be an unrealistic goal, kids should only jump with their own age group.
  • Only children over 6 should be allowed on a bouncer.
  • Always make sure an adult is present.
  • If renting a bounce house, make sure the company is insured.

 Dr. Smith is not calling for a ban, but does want parents to know how to reduce these preventable accidents.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.


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