Bounce house injuries can quickly deflate a party. And according to a new study, they’re on the rise.
More than 11,300 children were treated for bounce house-related injuries in 2010, double the number from 2008 and 16 times the number from 1995, according to the study published today in the journal Pediatrics.
That “equals a child every 46 minutes nationally,” wrote the authors from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “This epidemic increase highlights the urgency of addressing the prevention of inflatable bouncer-related injuries among children.”
More than half of the bounce house injuries were fractures, sprains and strains, according to the study, followed by injuries to the head, neck and face. Falling was the most common cause of injury, followed by collisions with other jumpers.
The types of injuries land the colorful castles next to trampolines in terms of safety concerns, according to the study.
“In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed its recommendation against any home or other recreational usage of trampolines and recommended use only as part of a structured training program with appropriate safety measures employed,” the study authors wrote. “Policy makers must consider whether the similarities observed in bouncer-related injuries warrant a similar response.”
The reason for the rise in bounce house injuries is unclear, but the study authors suggest a jump in popularity, as well as changes to their design might be to blame.
In June 2011, strong winds lifted three bounce houses off the ground at a youth soccer tournament in Oceanside, N.Y., injuring 13 children.
The study authors say rise in injuries “underscores the need for guidelines for safer bouncer usage and improvements in bouncer design to prevent these injuries among children.”