Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a recommendation to parents in Pittsburgh and throughout the country: do not let children use trampolines at home or at playgrounds. Now, a new study may cause that recommendation to be revised so it also warns parents of the dangers of inflatable bounce houses.
In the study, which examined records from 100 emergency rooms between 1990 and 2010, researchers found that children suffered 15 times more bounce house-related injuries in 2010 than in 1995. Specifically, about 11,300 children came to the emergency room with bounce house injuries in 2010, while only 700 children sought medical care for such injuries in 1995. The rate more than doubled between 2008 and 2010 alone.
Researchers believe that the reason for the significant increase in bounce house injuries is simple: more children are using bounce houses as the structures grow in popularity. As such, it isn't likely that this trend will reverse any time soon.
Broken bones and sprains were responsible for about 25 percent of the emergency room visits and were the most common reasons that children sought medical care after suffering a bounce house accident. Bruises, cuts and concussions accounted for the remainder of the injuries. Approximately half of the injured kids were between the ages of six and 12. One-third of the children were under the age of five, and the rest were between 13 and 17. Interestingly, as children got older they were more likely to suffer leg injuries and less likely to suffer arm injuries.
So how can parents keep kids safe from bounce house injuries? By limiting the number of children in a bounce house at one time, researchers say, and by only allowing children aged six and older to participate.
Source: Reuters, "Bounce house-related injuries on the rise in U.S.," Andrew M. Seaman, Nov. 26, 2012
At our Pittsburgh law firm, we help people who suffered injuries such as those discussed above. To learn more, please visit our premises liability page.