Bounce houses and their dangers to kids

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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Bounce houses, obstacle courses, slides – kids are always excited to get in inflatable amusements. They pop up at birthday parties, festivals and fairs, but there often is not an understanding of their potential dangers.

All the action in an inflatable amusement can create many hazards. Broken bones or sprains can worsen as others continue to bounce and kids can collide and end up with concussions or similar injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted a study concerning injuries and deaths associated with these inflatable amusements over the span of 10 years, between 2003 and 2013. They tracked injuries that resulted in treatment from an emergency department and found a total of 113,272.

Who suffers the most injuries?

The study found that 61% of injury victims in an inflatable amusement were between the ages of 5 and 14. The most common bounce house users to experience an injury were in the moon bounce, the most common type of inflatable amusement and the majority were in commercial amusements.

What type of injury is most common?

The most common type of injury in an inflatable amusement were to the extremities. 34% were to the leg or foot and 32 % were to the arm or hand. 15% of all injuries treated in emergency departments from bounce houses were to the head or face.

Similarly, the study found that the most common injury was a fracture, followed closely by the strains, sprains or dislocations and contusions, abrasions or lacerations.

Did bounce houses cause any deaths?

Unfortunately, the inflatable amusements were the cause of 12 deaths between 2003 and 2013. They primarily involved damage to the head and neck, but some were also results of suffocation or drowning on water-based inflatables.

There are many factors that are involved in the dangers of inflatable amusements, including the type, how many kids are inside, what safety precautions are taken and how much supervision is involved. While bounce houses are fun, they can lead to serious injuries.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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