A few months back, I wrote a blog discussing the dangers of trampolines and providing cautionary use tips. In this same vein, a recent national study has associated a lot of these same dangers with bounce house use among children.  According to Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, “Each day in this country, more than 30 children are rushed to a hospital emergency department for an injury associated with an inflatable bouncer.  That’s a child about every 45 minutes.” 

Dr. Smith was part of the first national study determining the number of injuries associated with inflatable bounce houses.  This study found that between 1990 and 2010, almost 64,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for bounce house related injuries.  About a quarter of these injuries involved broken bones.  In addition to broken bones, one in five children suffered a neck or head injury, while the remainder were left with strains and sprains.  These are incredibly scary statistics for any parent of young children who will likely attend countless birthday parties and indoor play facilities throughout the year where bounce houses are present.


While parents may find it difficult to prevent their children from participating in bounce house play altogether, it’s important to be a vigilant observer while children are inside and ensure the number of children doesn’t exceed capacity and there’s no extreme roughhousing play.  Additionally, most states require bounce house operators to have the equipment inspected by a certified engineer once a year so be sure to look for an inspection sticker on the bounce house to confirm it has undergone the appropriate inspection and the equipment is operating properly.

bounce house

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Filed under: Articles by Jennifer Crichton

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