Bounce houses have become popular ways to celebrate children’s birthdays and other events. While they may seem safe, with padded walls and soft surfaces, bounce houses pose a significant risk of child injuries. Children can suffer broken bones from contact with other kids in the bounce house, for example, and unsecured bounce houses can lift off of the ground in high winds. Learn more about the dangers of bounce houses to better protect your child.
What Are Common Injury Risks Associated With Bounce Houses?
Most parents and guardians assume that bounce houses are reasonably safe for children to play in; they have become one of the most popular rentals for children’s parties. It comes as a surprise for most parents to learn that, in reality, over 15,000 child injuries are reported in connection to bounce houses each year in the U.S.
According to the CHOC Research Institute, 82,748 children were injured in bounce houses from 2015 to 2019, for an annual average of 16,550 injuries per year. The lower extremities are the most common area injured in bounce house accidents. The most frequently reported injuries are bone fractures, muscle strains and contusions. Concussions are almost twice as likely to occur among children over the age of six compared to five and under in bounce houses.
One of the most common causes of bounce house injuries is contact between two or more children. Being struck by another child can cause impact injuries such as broken bones, head trauma and soft-tissue damage. Falling out of the structure can also cause these injuries, as well as cuts, scrapes and lacerations. A bounce house deflating while in use can lead to injuries caused by suffocation, such as permanent brain damage. Finally, there is a risk of a poorly secured bounce house becoming airborne in a storm and causing serious child injuries or deaths.
How to Keep Your Child Safe in a Bounce House
The false perception that bounce houses and other inflatable amusements are safe leads to many parents neglecting to prioritize child safety on these structures. The first step in keeping your child safe is awareness of associated risks. With this knowledge, you can take steps to decrease the risk of a serious bounce house accident, such as:
- Keep children under six out of bounce houses. These children are too small and can get crushed and injured by older kids.
- Don’t allow any sharp objects inside the bounce house. Make sure kids remove their shoes, jewelry, hair clips, eyeglasses and objects from their pockets before entering the structure.
- Limit the number of children allowed at a time. Keep group sizes to four kids or less (although one child at a time is safest) to decrease the risk of child-to-child contact.
- Supervise bounce house activities. An adult should be watching kids in bounce houses to make sure they are not engaged in dangerous tricks, flips or horseplay.
- Keep kids away from entrances. Make sure kids in the bounce house stay away from doors, windows and other entrances to prevent injuries caused by falling out of the structure.
Pay special attention when setting up your bounce house. Inflate it to the proper levels according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If it begins to lose air, stop play immediately and make children stay out of the bounce house until it is reinflated. Always stake your bounce house into the ground in a clear, open space that is free from tree branches and power lines. Check the weather and avoid bounce house play if a storm or high winds are in the forecast.
Bounce House Injury? Contact an Attorney for Assistance
If your child suffers an injury in a bounce house, consult with an Omaha injury lawyer at Knowles Law Firm about your legal options. Your family may be eligible for financial compensation from the manufacturer of the bounce house, a property owner or another party for failing to keep your child safe.