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Bounce House Dangers

Inflatable bounce houses have gained popularity with both children and adults over the last few decades. However, recent reports indicate that these fun-filled, energy-expelling toys are causing thousands of injuries a year, mostly affecting children. These popular fixtures at children’s parties, family fun centers, and fairs are responsible for an increase in reported injuries. Between 1995 and 2010, bounce house related injuries increased by 1500% and the injury rate doubled between 2008 and 2010. The average number of bounce house injury cases seen by a hospital on a daily basis is nearly 31, mostly children. In addition to the reported injuries, 4 bounce house related deaths were also reported between 2003 and 2007 occurring as a result of head contact with pavement. Most of the injuries were found in the arms and legs. Young children often presented with breaks, while older kids and teenagers reported sprains, or pulls. One-third of reported injuries fell in the age range of 5 years and under. While almost 20% of cases involved head and neck injuries, only 3% of patients had to be admitted for treatment. Much like the cautions over trampolines, experts are warning about the dangers of bounce houses. Because of their popularity, bounce houses are not just for rent anymore, many people own them as a backyard activity for their kids. With more becoming accessible, use is rapidly increasing, with more children using them unsupervised. Even when they are supervised, like at fairs and carnivals, the bounce houses often have mixed age children playing in them. Older kids often play rougher and pose a serious threat to the smaller kids in the bounce house. It is suggested that children should be educated on appropriate behavior in bounce houses; no flipping, no jumping, no bashing into other children, no throwing other children.  The researcher is not calling for a ban on bounce houses, though he does say that if the reported cases were of an infectious disease, there would be a huge public health issue on hand. Instead, he urges parents to educate themselves and then teach their children the safe way to play in bounce houses. Additionally, children of different age groups should not be allowed to bounce in the same house together, and children under the age of 5 years should be discouraged from entering one all-together. However, if you have ever had a toddler, this is easier said than done. Keep active on safety precautions, be vigilant in teaching proper bounce house etiquette, and never leave children unattended. That way, everyone can have fun and be safe. Sources: Yahoo Health/Associated Press - CNN: Health - LA Times: Nation Now -,0,6758219.story
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