December 2012: If you’re not a parent, you may not be aware of the popularity of inflatable bounce houses, but they are popping up more and more. Not only has us of inflatable bouncers risen, and so have injury rates.
The study œPediatric Inflatable Bouncer-Related Injuries in the United States, 1990-2010 in the December 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Nov.26) found that from 1990 to 2010, more than 64,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency departments for inflatable bouncer-related injuries. Of the nearly 65,000 children treated in U.S. emergency departments over a 20-year period, 55 percent of these injuries occurred between 2005 and 2010, according to the study. More than half of the injured children were in the 6- to 12-year-old age group; more than a third were under the age of 5. Arm and leg injuries were the most common injuries. The youngest children, those under 5, were more likely to have fractures, and teenagers were more likely to sustain sprains and strains. Nearly 1 in 5 children, or 18.5 percent, had head and neck injuries. Unfortunately, there are no national safety guidelines for inflatable bounces. Until there are, experts recommend the following:
- Based on developmental abilities, don’t let children under the age of 6 play in these inflatable devices.
- Having one child play at a time is the safest, but that’s not very realistic (or much fun), so only have children of similar age and size play inside these bouncers at one time.
- Horseplay, flips and somersaults should be prohibited; that kind of play leads to the most dangerous injuries.
- Always have an adult present when these devices are in use — but not inside with the children. Adults (parents and/or bounce center operators) should be in a position to observe and intervene if children are engaging in horseplay or doing flips and somersaults.
Read More at:
News4Jax:Bounce House injuries Ballooning
Healthy Children.org: Childhood Injuries Related to Inflatable Bouncers on the Rise
The Child Injury Prevention Alliance also has recommendations to avoid injuries in children on their website